I was asked by my niece, Elizabeth, to be her sponsor at her Confirmation. I
felt honored. She is very special to me and my family because she has helped
us by sharing a few weeks with us each summer. She helps out with the care
of our children—Brian (8) and Kevin (9) who has physical and mental
challenges. She has a unique bond with Kevin.
I wanted to attend Elizabeth's
Confirmation in person, but found it difficult to travel to Florida (from
Minnesota) because my son is having a rough time. I wanted to give Elizabeth
a gift that would let her know how dear she is to us and inspire her
Elizabeth had to complete a research
paper on a saint as part of her preparation for Confirmation. When she said
that she had chosen St. Maria Goretti, I looked the saint up on the internet
and found your [Friends] of Maria Goretti webpage [at
reading Saint Maria’s story, I knew that I wanted to paint her image. Not
finding a photo to copy from, I decided to just imagine what she might have
looked like. Her image came together very quickly. Although it is not a
historical likeness, I hope my image represents the confidence and holiness
of St. Maria Goretti.
An interesting thing occurred while I was
painting. I took the unfinished work to my sons’ school on a day that I had
volunteered to help out with an art project. My son, Kevin, requires an aide
to be with him throughout his day in third grade. When I showed the work to
Mrs. Little (Kevin’s a.m. para.), she looked surprised and asked where I had
found a likeness of the saint to copy. I told her that I hadn’t found one,
but that this was a composite of people I’ve known and how I’d imagine a
beautiful 11 year old Italian girl might look.
Later that same day, Mrs. Little’s daughter
showed up at the school “out of the blue.” She gave her Mom flowers and asked to
see Kevin. I was so happy to give this image to Mrs. Little and her daughter
because they believe in the power of prayer. Then I decided to make a gift of
this image to the Society of Maria Goretti with the hope that others may draw
strength and be inspired to prayer.
Enclosed you will find a print and computer disc of my painting of St. Maria
Goretti. I release the image for use by the Society of Maria Goretti and Brother
Goretti Zilli in any form to promote the message of St. Maria Goretti.
God bless you in all your good work. Sincerely,