SINGAPORE – A painting to commemorate the feast of St. Ignatius was blessed by Jesuit Father Philip Heng on Aug 8.
The painting titled “Sinners, yet called to serve” features St. Ignatius of Loyola inviting all peoples (depicted by a man) to join the saint in his mission to serve all peoples in all places and at any time for God’s greater glory. The saint holds a book with the Jesuit motto, “Ad majorem Dei gloriam”, Latin for “For the Greater Glory of God”.
The man in the painting, despite having a physical disability (representing the congregation’s unworthiness and imperfections), accepts St. Ignatius’ invitation, casting away his crutches and moves forward with the faith that God will always provide.
The Trinity suggests St. Ignatius’s vision at la Storta (Rome), a definitive event in the founding of the Jesuit order. The dome of St. Peter’s reminds us of the Jesuit vow of obedience to the pope.
Alvin Ong, 20, from Church of St. Francis of Assisi, took two-and-a-half months to complete the 120x180-centimetre acrylic on canvas painting.
Mr Ong had been inspired to use his talents to work on a religious painting after attending a Youth in the Spirit Seminar in 2008. He approached Church of St. Ignatius and after several discussions with the parish, it was decided that the feast of St. Ignatius would be a fitting time for a painting. To put the painting in the context of their parish, the parish altar is also painted in.
Although Mr Ong read up extensively on St. Ignatius and the Jesuits, it was a “daunting task” being his first time working on a religious painting and painting many human figures while managing the needs and requests of the client.
“In the end it was all worth it,” Mr Ong said, “it’s a bittersweet and indescribable feeling for me to see the work lifted up to the greater glory of God”.
By Darren Boon