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Philippine in the Communion of Saints

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in the mural of the Cathedral of Los Angeles

"Property of John Nava and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.. This image is from those of the South Tapestry Gallery of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. http://www.olacathedral.org/ 

In this Cathedral, one sees Philippine in a beautiful tapestry, one of the groups of saints which line the nave of the Church. The artist’s figures are constructed from “multiple studies combining drawn and painted elements”; he even designed family members as models upon occasion. He wanted the figures “to look like people we know now.” Nava's desire is that people see that "a saint could look like me."

I have seen this lovely depiction of Philippine and was struck with two reflections:

  • This group of saints from all times and walks of life is one of twenty- five which face the altar. All 135 saints and blessed individuals journey toward the Lord. Since, the pictures are on a wall which slants toward the altar, one senses the movement of the figures towards the fullness of Christ’s Light.
  • Philippine looks thankful, so self-effacing and given to that little field she was blessed to “cultivate” in her particular life.

So we look and pray, and, yes, we “know [her] now.” 

~ Marchia O'Dea, RSCJ