On Sunday, October 18th, Father Joshua Caswell blessed a new piece of art to be hung in our church.
The new image is a copy of one that, according to tradition, hung by the entrance to the university building near St. John Cantius’ private room. He was said to pray next to this painting and when he died it was taken to the university church of St. Anne across the street and hung near his tomb.
The image is entitled “Misericordia Domini” (The Mercy of the Lord) and was painted in Kraków by an anonymous painter in the fifteenth century. The title denotes not the unique title of this specific painting but rather an iconographic motif that was popular in the art of that age, which found its inspiration in the passage from Chapter 53 of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, which prophesied the Man of Suffering. It depicts Christ standing in the tomb and blood from the wound in His side flowing out into a chalice placed on the edge of the tomb. Behind and to His side stands the Blessed Mother in prayer as the Co-Redemptrix in His work of redemption. It is for this reason that it was also considered a Marian image and sometimes called “Imago Matris Miseridordiae” (Image of the Mother of Mercy).
Just as the original, this painting was executed on a board of linden wood enclosed within a frame made from alder wood. The image was painted, as the original, with egg tempera pigments and gilded. The finished image was then sealed with varnish and wax.
The artist who created this copy, Ewa Kociuba, is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, Poland where she presently lives and works in her studio “Pracownia Temper.”
You can watch a video of the blessing of the icon below.