|Mark Sanislo Religious Painter
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Oil on Canvas
36" x 42"
Excerpts - Idea of "East-West Icon" is Born - by Father Robert J. Fox
This is how the idea for the Icon Union of East and West in Christ was born. The unusual events with Pope John Paul II going on pilgrimage to Damascus, walking in the footsteps of the Apostle St. Paul, and my meeting Myrna Nazzour and the Soufanieh community in Damascus provided the opportunity in God's own planning, it seemed.
A phone call to contact Damascus at once, right when Pope John Paul II was there, the Nazzours asking me to come to Damascus — all seemed more than coincidental. At the very hour I was studying the Icon Our Lady of Soufanieh — something I had not done for ten years — Nicolas and Myrna Nazzour were on the phone saying to me: "Come to Damascus.... Come to our home, the Virgin's home."
All this affected my decision that I was meant to go to Damascus to write a book, Light from the East — Miracles of Our Lady of Soufanieh, for English speaking readers.
This book is about the Icon Our Lady of Soufanieh, which is rooted in Russia's centuries old miraculous icon, Our Lady of Kazan. Once believed to be destroyed by the communists, the icon is now in possession of the Pope at the Vatican. That is what Mark's Icon Union of East and West in Christ is about. The icon shows how Fatima, Soufanieh or Kazan are interrelated.
It seems that since I founded the Fatima Family Apostolate for the sanctification of families, without personal intent and unexpectedly, I get introduced to people whom God has given unusual charisms which are relative to family life and evangelization.
During the time Mark and his wife were awaiting the birth of their sixth child who arrived in July 2002, Mark wrote the Icon UNION OF EAST AND WEST IN JESUS CHRIST. It would be a major beginning of moving his artistic talent more in line with evangelization. An artist does not paint an icon, he writes an icon. Icons carry special religious messages to be read.