Hail Mary-The Tree of Life

Exhibited at the Marian Library: May 22 July 28, 1995

Brother Michael O'Neill McGrath is an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales from Philadelphia. Michael is currently ministering full-time as an artist after having taught Art and Art History for eleven years at Allentown College in Pennsylvania. He does free-hand illustration work, fine art commissions, and conducts retreats and workshops centered on the healing powers of art and creativity, particularly as they relate to grief. He is affiliated with the Grunewald Guild in Leavenworth, Washington, and Lourdes Wellness Center in Camden, New Jersey.

Michael has done a nine-painting series inspired by the life of his hero, Sr. Thea Bowman. He travels with the series to churches and schools to tell her story, as well as his own story of grief and recovery. Partly through her inspiration, Michael's work is almost exclusively sacred and always full of color and cultural diversity.


I spent years painting bad landscapes before discovering the courage to paint what I've wanted to paint since I was a little kid: images of Christ and the saints, whose stories have always meant so much to me.

I love the diversity and spiritual richness of the Church and want to convey that in my paintings not only cultural and racial diversity, but artistic diversity as well. Medieval illuminations, African art, Byzantine icons, and the modern masters have all been my artistic guides and inspirations.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, acrylic, 20" x 26", 1993

The Woman Clothed with the Sun, acrylic, 20" x 26", 1993

My Lord, What a Morning!, acrylic, 20" x 26", 1993

Our Lady of Czestochowa, acrylic, 20" x 26", 1993

The Prayer of St. Bernard, ink, 14" x 15", 1993

Hail Mary: The Tree of Life, ink, 13" x 14", colored pencil, 1993-95

Salamu Maria, colored pencil, 12" x 16", 1994

Madonna of the Holocaust, acrylic, 20" x 26", 1994

Sleep is the Image of Death, acrylic, 24" x 30", 1994

The Visitation of Holy Mary, colored pencil, 24" x 30", 1994

Whispers of Mercy, acrylic, feathers, 14" x 14", 1994

Gate of Heaven, acrylic, 11" x 12", 1995

Star of the Sea, acrylic, 11" x 12", 1995

The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother, hand-colored lino print, 10" x 13", 1995

Queen of Heaven, Mother of Earth, acrylic, 18" x 24", 1995

Mater Dolorosa, acrylic, 14" x 14", 1995

The Seven Sorrows, acrylic, 22" x 30", 1995

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