|Mark Sanislo Religious Painter
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Oil on Canvas
36" x 42"
Excerpts From the Story Behind the Artist Mark Sanislo
By Father Robert J. Fox
Mark Sanislo, who wrote the Icon Union of East and West in Jesus Christ, gracing the cover of this issue of the Immaculate Heart Messenger, is among the artists who are taking seriously the challenge given them by Pope John Paul II. Mark has established "Fiat Studios" to produce and promote good Catholic art, and to some day train artists.
Many of our new churches lack taste and beauty and good religious art. Many of our homes lack good religious art.
Pope John Paul II knows that the uplifting of the human spirit to God and evangelizing the true faith, can effectively and powerfully be assisted by good Catholic artists producing noble works. Since I've long been convinced of the role of sacred art in evangelizing the family, I've taken an interest in Mark's "turn in the road" in his artistic endeavors.
At the 2000 jubilee for Artists Pope John Paul II said: "I am pleased today to offer you once again the sentiments of esteem I expressed last year in my Letter to Artists. It is time to return to that fruitful alliance between the Church and artists which has deeply marked the path of Christianity in these two millenniums. ..." The Pope spoke of "sculpting" the stone of our hearts to bring out the features of Christ the new Man. "The Artist who can do this in depth is the Holy Spirit.
However, he requires our responsiveness and docility. Conversion of heart, so to speak, is a work of art jointly produced by the Spirit and our freedom.. ..God lets himself be glimpsed in your spirit through the fascination of beauty and your longing for it. Without a doubt the artist has a special relationship and it can be said that beauty is the vocation bestowed on him by the Creator. If the artist can perceive a ray of the supreme beauty among the many manifestations of the beautiful, then art becomes a way to Cod and spurs the artist to combine his creative talent with his commitment to a life of ever greater conformity to the divine law" (Address of John Paul 11 — For the Jubilee Celebration for Artists).