Studio Blog

Thoughts on Art and Life

Studio Blog

Welcome to the Studio Blog from GB Art & Prints. This is a forum for us to talk about our views on Painting, Art and Life.We intend to post articles about what we are doing and what is new with our company and site. There will be items added to the store and new content on the site and this blog is where you could go to get this information. We are a division of Geoffrey Butz Art & Design and feature fine art and prints from paintings by Geoffrey Butz. 

Sep20

30 Days Challenge - Day 16

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Josemaria Escriva

30 Days Challenge - Day 16

Day 16 is Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, 12x12 oil on wood panel. Jose Escriva was a Roman Catholic priest from Spain who founded Opus Dei, an organization of laypeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. He made a way for ordinary lay people to reach santity by their work and family life, holiness in everyday life.

Sep18

30 Days Challenge - Day 15

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

30 Days Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 is Venerable Fulton J. Sheen 12x12 Oil on wood panel. "God Love You" Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen touched the lives of millions worldwide with his warmth, wisdom and humor. A master communicator, he had the great gift of preaching and teaching the Gospel in a way easy to understand. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Ill., has already constructed a museum in honor of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a native son whose Emmy-winning television show during the 1950s brought Catholicism to the American living room.

Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of "heroic virtues" – a major step towardsbeatification – so he is now referred to as "Venerable".

"Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?" Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

Sep17

30 Days Challenge - Day 14

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Bl. Miguel Pro

30 Days Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 is Bl. Miguel Pro, 12x12 Oil on wood panel. He was a courageous priest who stood up and was martyr for the Catholic faith during the Mexican "Cristeros" persecution in the 20's. His last words before he was killed were "Viva Cristo Rey", "Long Live Christ the King".

Here is a little more about his life, taken from Catholics Online: 

Born on January 13, 1891 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez was the eldest son of Miguel Pro and Josefa Juarez.

Miguelito, as his doting family called him, was, from an early age, intensely spiritual and equally intense in hi mischievousness, frequently exasperating his family with his humor and practical jokes. As a child, he had a daring precociouness that sometimes went too far, tossing him into near-death accidents and illnesses. On regaining consciousness after one of these episodes, young Miguel opened his eyes and blurted out to his frantic parents, "I want some cocol" (a colloquial term for his favorite sweet bread). "Cocol" became his nickname, which he would later adopt as a code name during this clandestine ministry.

Miguel was particularly close to his older sister and after she entered a cloistered convent, he came to recognize his own vocation to the priesthood. Although he was popular with the senoritas and had prospects of a lucrative career managing his father's thriving business concerns, Miguel renounced everything for Christ his King and entered the Jesuit novitiate in El Llano, Michoacan in 1911.

He studied in Mexico until 1914, when a tidal wave of anti-Catholicism crashed down upon Mexico, forcing the novitiate to disband and flee to the United States, where Miguel and his brother seminarians treked through Texas and New Mexico before arriving at the Jesuit house in Los Gatos, California.

In 1915, Miguel was sent to a seminary in Spain, where he remained until 1924, when he went to Belgium for his ordination to the priesthood in 1925. Miguel suffered from a severe stomach problem and after three operations, when his health did not improve, his superiors, in 1926, allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the grave religious persecution in that country.

The churches were closed and priests went into hiding. Miguel spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor in Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many interesting disguises in carrying out his secret mininstry. He would come in the middle of the night dressed as a beggar to baptize infants, bless marriages and celebrate Mass. He would appear in jail dressed as a police officer to bring Holy Viaticum to condemned Catholics. When going to fashionable neighboorhoods to procure for the poor, he would show up at the doorstep dressed as a fashionable businessmam with a fresh flower on his lapel. His many exploits could rival those of the most daring spies. In all that he did, however, Fr. Pro remained obedient to his superiors and was filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King.

Falsely accused in the bombing attempt on a former Mexican president, Miguel became a wanted man. Betrayed to the police, he was sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process.

On the day of his execution, Fr. Pro forgave his executtioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold and died proclaiming, "Viva Cristo Rey", "Long live Christ the King!"

Information courtesy of ProVision and Brother Gerald Mueller.

The movie "For Greater Glory is about the Cristeros Persecution.

Sep15

30 Days Challenge - Day 13

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Therese of Lisieux

30 Days Challenge - Day 13

Day 13 is St. Therese of Lisieux 12x12 oil on wood panel. She is a beautiful saint that has the heart of a child. She is know for her "little way" which is to completly trust in Jesus with great love. She is also know as "the little flower" and promised to spend her time in heaven doing good on earth and that she will send down flowers from heaven. Often times when people pray to hear for her help, she will answer their prayers by sending them roses.

Here is sshort biography from the Soceity of the little flower:

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!"

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

She loved flowers and saw herself as the "little flower of Jesus," who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God's garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title "little flower" remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese's signature. Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her "little way." She has been acclaimed "the greatest saint of modern times." In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church - the only Doctor of his pontificate - in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.

The message of St. Therese is beautiful, inspiring, and simple.

You can find out more - click here

Sep14

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Padre Pio

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 is Padre Pio. He was a facinating Saint that lived in our time. Padre Pio had many graces from God including the stigmata, that he had most of his life. He felt the physical pain that Christ experinced on the cross every time he consecrated the host at Mass. He would be able to bi-locate and would hear confessions in multiple places around the world at the same time. He could also read souls and had a deep devotion to Mary and the Rosary.

Here is a little more about his life from Catholics Online:

Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, peasant farmers, in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. From his childhood, it was evident that he was a special child of God. Francesco was very devout even as a child, and at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood. He became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen and received the habit in 1902. Francesco was ordained to the priesthood in 1910 after seven years of study and became known as Padre Pio.

On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 years prior that upon his death the wounds would heal. The wounds of the stigmata were not the only mystical phenomenon experienced by Padre Pio.

The blood from the stigmata had an odor described by many as similar to that of perfume or flowers, and the gift of bilocation was attributed to him. Padre Pio had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him for confession which he heard for ten or twelve hours per day. Padre Pio used the confessional to bring both sinners and devout souls closer to God; he would know just the right word of counsel or encouragement that was needed. Even before his death, people spoke to Padre Pio about his possible canonization. He died on September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one. His funeral was attended by about 100,000 people.

On June 16, 2002, over 500,000 Padre Pio devotees gathered in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II proclaim Padre Pio, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The Padre Pio Foundation and many benefactors traveled to Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pietrelcina, Piana Romana and many other holy places to celebrate Padre Pio's Canonization.

To Read even more continue reading below.

Sep13

30 Day Challenge - Day 11

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Gemma Galgani

30 Day Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 is Gemma Galgani, 12x12 oil on wood panel. Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favored with many mystical experiences and special graces, including the stigmata. These were often misunderstood by others, causing ridicule. Gemma suffered these heartaches in reparation, remembering that Our Lord Himself had been misunderstood and ridiculed.

Here is a little about her story from CatholicOnline:

Gemma Galgani was born on March 12, 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca. At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer. She made her First Communion on June 17, 1887. As a pupil at the school run by the Sisters of St. Zita, Gemma was loved by her teachers and her fellow pupils. Although quiet and reserved, she always had a smile for everyone. Although a good student, she had to quit school due to chronic ill health before completing the course of study.

Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favored with many mystical experiences and special graces. These were often misunderstood by others, causing ridicule. Gemma suffered these heartaches in reparation, remembering that Our Lord Himself had been misunderstood and ridiculed.

Gemma had an immense love for the poor, and helped them in any way she could. After her father's death, the nineteen year old Gemma became the mother of her seven brothers and sisters. When some were old enough to share this responsibility, she lived briefly with a married aunt. At this time, two young men proposed marriage to her. Gemma however, wanted silence and retirement, and more that ever, she desired to pray and speak only to God.

Gemma returned home and almost immediately became very ill with meningitis. Throughout this illness, her one regret was the trouble she caused her relatives who took care of her. Feeling herself tempted by the devil, Gemma prayed for help to the Venerable Passionist, Gabriel Possenti. (Gabriel was later canonized) Through his intercession, Gemma was miraculously cured.

Gemma wished to become a nun, but her poor health prevented her from being accepted. She offered this disappointment to God as a sacrifice.

Gemma predicted that the Passionists would establish a monastery at Lucca; this came to pass two years after her death. Today, Gemma's mortal remains are still treasured at the Passionist monastery in Lucca.

On June 8, 1899, Gemma had an interior warning that some unusual grace was to be granted to her. She had pain in her hands, feet and heart and blood was coming from the places where she had pain. These were the marks of the stigmata. Each Thursday evening, Gemma would fall into rapture and the marks would appear. The stigmata remained until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when the bleeding would stop, the wounds would close, and only white marks would remain in place of the deep gashes. Gemma's stigmata would continue to appear until the last three years of her life, when her confessor forbade her to accept them. Through her prayers, this phenomenon ceased, but the whitish marks remained on her skin until her death.

Through the help of her confessor, Gemma went to live with a family named Giannini, where she was allowed more freedom than at home for her spiritual life. She had many ecstacies and her words spoken during these raptures, were recorded by her confessor and a relative of her adoptive family. At the end of her ecstacies, she returned to normal and went quietly and serenely about the family life. Gemma often saw her guardian angel, with whom she was on familiar terms. She often sent her guardian angel on errands, usually to deliver a letter or oral message to her confessor in Rome.

During the apostolic investigations into her life, all witnesses testified that there was no artfulness in Gemma's manner. Most of her severe penances and sacrifices were hidden from most who knew her.

In January of 1903, Gemma was diagnosed as having tuberculosis. She died quietly in the company of the parish priest, on April 11 at age twenty-five. He said, "She died with a smile which remained upon her lips, so that I could not convince myself that she was really dead." She was beatified in 1933 and canonized on May 2, 1940, only thirty-seven years after her death.

For more about her life click here.

Sep11

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Pope Francis

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

Day 10 is of Pope Francis. Like John Paul II, He is definately a Pope for our current time. Our world need God's Mercy and Compassion, and Pope Francis has a deep love and compassion for the suffering, poor and less fortunate. He challenges us to be Salt and Light in this world, to be Christ.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969 and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus. He was accused of handing two priests to the National Reorganization Process during the Dirty War, but the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina, and the administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 741.

Here are some quotes from Pope Francis:

"Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven."

"Have the Courage to go against the tide of current values that do not conform to the path of Jesus."

"The world tells us to seek success, power and money: God tells us to seek humility, service and love."

"Dear young people, do not bury your tallents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!"

"To change the world we must be good to those who cannot repay us."

"If your prayer life is boring, you're focusing on yourself, not Jesus, not the needy."

"Things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things."

Sep10

30 Days Challenge - Day 9

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

30 Days Challenge - Day 9

Day 9 is Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, 12x12 oil on wood panel. Pier Giorgio Frassati was a handsome, fun-loving, athletic, courageous and devout Catholic born into a prominent Italian family. He died at the young age of 24 and has since become the model for lay people all over the world. Beatified in 1990 by Saint Pope John Paul II and named "The Man of the Eight Beatitudes," Pier Giorgio teaches us that holiness is possible for everyone.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a saint for the modern world, and especially for the young people of our time. Born in 1901 in Turin, Italy, his time on earth was short-only 24 years-but he filled it passionately with holy living. Pier Giorgio was a model of virtue, a "man of the beatitudes," as Pope John Paul II called him at the saint's beatification ceremony in Rome on May 20, 1990. He was described by friends as "an explosion of joy." As Pier Giorgio's sister, Luciana, says of her brother in her biography of him, "He represented the finest in Christian youth: pure, happy, enthusiastic about everything that is good and beautiful."

To our modern world which is often burdened by cynicism and angst, Pier Giorgio's life offers a brilliant contrast, a life rich in meaning, purpose, and peace derived from faith in God. From the earliest age, and despite two unreligious parents who misunderstood and disapproved of his piety and intense interest in Catholicism, Pier Giorgio placed Christ first in all that he did. These parental misunderstandings, which were very painful to him, persisted until the day of his sudden death of polio. However, he bore this treatment patiently, silently, and with great love.

Pier Giorgio prayed daily, offering, among other prayers, a daily rosary on his knees by his bedside. Often his agnostic father would find him asleep in this position. "He gave his whole self, both in prayer and in action, in service to Christ," Luciana Frassati writes. After Pier Giorgio began to attend Jesuit school as a boy, he received a rare permission in those days to take communion daily. "Sometimes he passed whole nights in Eucharistic adoration." For Pier Giorgio, Christ was the answer. Therefore, all of his action was oriented toward Christ and began first in contemplation of Him. With this interest in the balance of contemplation and action, it is no wonder why Pier Giorgio was drawn in 1922 at the age of 21 to the Fraternities of St. Dominic. In becoming a tertiary, Pier Giorgio chose the name "Girolamo" (Jerome) after his personal hero, Girolamo Savonarola, the fiery Dominican preacher and reformer during the Renaissance in Florence. Pier Giorgio once wrote to a friend, "I am a fervent admirer of this friar (Savonarola), who died as a saint at the stake."

Pier Giorgio was handsome, vibrant, and natural. These attractive characteristics drew people to him. He had many good friends and he shared his faith with them with ease and openness. He engaged himself in many different apostolates. Pier Giorgio also loved sports. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hiking, riding horses, skiing, and mountain climbing. He was never one to pass on playing a practical joke, either. He relished laughter and good humor.

As Luciana points out, "Catholic social teaching could never remain simply a theory with [Pier Giorgio]." He set his faith concretely into action through spirited political activism during the Fascist period in World War I Italy. He lived his faith, too, through discipline with his school work, which was a tremendous cross for him as he was a poor student. Most notably, however, Pier Giorgio (like the Dominican St. Martin de Porres) lived his faith through his constant, humble, mostly hidden service to the poorest of Turin. Although Pier Giorgio grew up in a privileged environment, he never lorded over anyone the wealth and prestige of his family. Instead, he lived simply and gave away food, money, or anything that anyone asked of him. It is suspected that he contracted from the very people to whom he was ministering in the slums the polio that would kill him.

Even as Pier Giorgio lay dying, his final week of rapid physical deterioration was an exercise in heroic virtue. His attention was turned outward toward the needs of others and he never drew attention to his anguish, especially since his own grandmother was dying at the same time he was. Pier Giorgio's heart was surrendered completely to God's will for him. His last concern was for the poor. On the eve of his death, with a paralyzed hand, he scribbled a message to a friend, reminding the friend not to forget the injections for Converso, a poor man Pier Giorgio had been assisting.

When news of Pier Giorgio's death on July 4, 1925 reached the neighborhood and city, the Frassati parents, who had no idea about the generous self-donation of their young son, were astonished by the sight of thousands of people crowded outside their mansion on the day of their son's funeral Mass and burial. The poor, the lonely, and those who had been touched by Pier Giorgio's love and faithful example had come to pay homage to this luminous model of Christian living.

Pier Giorgio's mortal remains were found incorrupt in 1981 and were transferred from the family tomb in the cemetery of Pollone to the Cathedral of Turin.

(Taken from the Third Order of St. Dominic)

More about his life click here

Sep08

30 Days Challenge - Day 8

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Damien de Vuester of Molokai

30 Days Challenge - Day 8

Day 8 is a painting of St. Damien of Molokai, 12x12 oil on wood panel. This is a saint that had an impact on me at a young age. He was the patron saint of my high school, Damien High School in Lavern, Ca. We were taught by the Sacred Heart Fathers, and like all the freshmen at Damien we took a manditory class on Fr. Damien. Like Satoko Kitahara, he felt the only way to help these lepers on the inclosed island of Molokai, was to become one. The line that just hits me everytime is when he said "my fellow lepers". He was one with the suffering, desolute and dying, the ones that the world turns it's back on and sends them to a deserted island to be forgotten and to die. He was Christ to these people. Even the priests that came to hear his confession, did so from a boat.

Here are some words about his life from AmericanCatholic.org:

When Joseph de Veuster was born in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840, few people in Europe had any firsthand knowledge of leprosy (Hansen's disease). By the time he died at the age of 49, people all over the world knew about this disease because of him. They knew that human compassion could soften the ravages of this disease. Forced to quit school at age 13 to work on the family farm, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary six years later, taking the name of a fourth-century physician and martyr. When his brother Pamphile, a priest in the same congregation, fell ill and was unable to go to the Hawaiian Islands as assigned, Damien quickly volunteered in his place. In May 1864, two months after arriving in his new mission, Damien was ordained a priest in Honolulu and assigned to the island of Hawaii. In 1873, he went to the Hawaiian government's leper colony on the island of Molokai, set up seven years earlier. Part of a team of four chaplains taking that assignment for three months each year, Damien soon volunteered to remain permanently, caring for the people's physical, medical and spiritual needs. In time, he became their most effective advocate to obtain promised government support. Soon the settlement had new houses and a new church, school and orphanage. Morale improved considerably. A few years later he succeeded in getting the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by Mother Marianne Cope (January 23), to help staff this colony in Kalaupapa. Damien contracted Hansen's disease and died of its complications. As requested, he was buried in Kalaupapa, but in 1936 the Belgian government succeeded in having his body moved to Belgium. Part of Damien's body was returned to his beloved Hawaiian brothers and sisters after his beatification in 1995. Damien was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, it selected Damien as one of its two representatives in the Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

Quote: During the canonization homily, Pope Benedict XVI said: "Let us remember before this noble figure that it is charity which makes unity, brings it forth and makes it desirable. Following in Saint Paul's footsteps, Saint Damien prompts us to choose the good warfare (1 Tm 1:18), not the kind that brings division but the kind that gathers people together. He invites us to open our eyes to the forms of leprosy that disfigure the humanity of our brethren and still today call for the charity of our presence as servants, beyond that of our generosity."

Sep07

30 Days Challenge - Day 7

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Saint Pope John Paul II

30 Days Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 is a painting of St. Pope Jogn Paul II 12x12 oil on Wood Panel. This is the pope that set our generation on fire for the faith. We are the Pope John Paul II generation. There aren't enough words to express how great this man is. Here are some words from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The longest reigning pope in modern history, John Paul II, took his message on the road, visiting 129 countries -- several repeatedly -- on 104 trips and logging more than 700,000 miles in a papacy that lasted more than 27 years.  Blessed John Paul died at the age of 84 at the Vatican April 2, 2005, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday.

As the first non-Italian pope in 455 years, John Paul became a spiritual protagonist in two global transitions: the fall of European communism, which began in his native Poland in 1989, and the passage to the third millennium of Christianity. The day of his canonization is Divine Mercy Sunday -- an observance Pope John Paul put on the church's universal calendar in 2000 on the Sunday after Easter. The Polish pope was a longtime enthusiast of the Divine Mercy devotions of St. Faustina Kowalksa, whom he beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2000.

Pope John Paul also instituted the annual February 2 World Day of Consecrated Life, the February 11 World Day of the Sick and a World Meeting of Families every three years. But welcoming hundreds of thousands of young people to the Vatican for a special Palm Sunday celebration in 1984, Pope John Paul launched what has become the biggest international gathering on the church's calendar: World Youth Day.

In his later years, the pope moved with difficulty, tired easily and was less expressive, all symptoms of the nervous system disorder of Parkinson's disease. Yet he pushed himself to the limits of his physical capabilities, convinced that such suffering was itself a form of spiritual leadership. For more info click here

Sep06

30 Days Challenge - Day 6

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Venerable Satoko Kitahara

30 Days Challenge - Day 6

Day 6 is a painting of Ven. Satoko Kitahara 12x12 Oil on Wood Panel. She worked closely with Br. Zeno, who was a great influence on her conversion to Catholicism.

Born to the Japanese aristocracy, a descendent of samurai warriors, and raised in a Shinto household. Lay in the archdiocese of Tokyo, Japan. Worked in the Nakajima airplane factory during World War II as a young girl; she survived a bombing of the plant. Developed tuberculosis. Adult convert to Christianity, baptized on 30 October 1949, taking the name Elisabeth Maria. Worked with the Franciscan Mission of the Immaculate Conception (with Br. Zeno and Fr. Kolbe's Friars) to minister to the poor, sick, orphaned and displaced who lived with almost nothing in the years following the War, especially in a slum and tent city known as Ant City. Satoko eventually realized that the only way to truly help these people was to become one; she renounced her family’s wealth and position, and lived with the homeless and outcast, praying endlessly for them and with them. First Japanese person declared as Servant of God.

"To save us, God sent His only Son to be one of us... He really became one of us! It hit me now. There was only one way to help those ragpicker children: become a ragpicker like them!" So Satoko gave up her life of wealth and privilege to really live the Gospel of Jesus with the wretchedly poor. Instead of visiting the township, she went to live in Ants' Town. Taken from www.satokokitahara.com.

Born August 22, 1929 in Tokyo, Japan. Died January 23, 1958. Venerated on Jan 22, 2015 by Pope Francis.

More about her life Click Here

Sep05

30 Days Challenge - Day 5

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

30 Days Challenge - Day 5

Day 5 is a painting of St. Maximilian Kolbe. This is one of my favorite saints. This is breif history of his life from Marytown in Libertyville, IL

St. Maximilian was born Raymond Kolbe in Poland, January 8, 1894. In 1910, he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. He was sent to study in Rome where he was ordained a priest in 1918.

Father Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919 and began spreading his Militia of the Immaculata movement of Marian consecration (whose members are also called MIs), which he founded on October 16, 1917. In 1927, he established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanów, the "City of the Immaculate." By 1939, the City had expanded from eighteen friars to nearly 900, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world.

To better "win the world for the Immaculata," the friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio--he was a true "apostle of the mass media." He established a City of the Immaculata in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1930, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide.

Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights into the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church's understanding of Mary as "Mediatrix" of all the graces of the Trinity, and as "Advocate" for God's people.

In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. On August 14, 1941, his impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "Martyr of Charity" and “Patron Saint of our difficult century” in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.

For more about his life and the MI click here

Sep03

30 Days Challenge - Day 3

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

30 Days Challenge - Day 3

Day three is a painting of Blessed Mother Theresa. 12x12 oil on wood panel.

"Mother Teresa marked the history of our century with courage. She served all human beings by promoting their dignity and respect, and made those who had been defeated by life feel the tenderness of God.''

- Saint Pope John Paul II

Sep02

30 Days Challenge - Day 2

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Brother Zeno Zebrowski of Japan

30 Days Challenge - Day 2

My painting today is Brother Zeno Zebrowski. He was a conventual Franciscan Brother who came to Japan with St. Maximilian Kolbe. The friars there help rebuild Japan after the war. His works of charity made him a household name in Japan from the time he arrived there. Children flocked to him wherever he went. Often he was begging for the needy on the streets. When his begging was finished, he went to the poor quarters of the city to distribute all he has received.

More about Br. Zeno: Story of his Life.

Sep01

30 Days Challenge - Day 1

Written by // Geoffrey Butz Categories // Figurative, 30 Paintings, Painting

Babcia

30 Days Challenge - Day 1

This is my 2 hour painting study today. Angelina Kowalczyk (Babcia), Cass' Grandmother. She lived to be 100, and is one on the sweetest Polish women I have ever met. She had a devotion to Mary her whole life and was at the Beatification and Canonization of St. Maximillian Kolbe. She is the reason that I met my wife, by her devotion to the Mary and Rosary and her prayers, she was a member of the MI since the 60's.

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Anthony Minarcik

Anthony Minarcik

11. October, 2015 |

Geoff, Well done! Knowing your mother was a gift.

"Not even the cords of death can break the bonds of such deep rooted fellowship,...

Kathryn

Kathryn

11. October, 2015 |

Geoff, I am so very proud of you in so many ways. As proud as I am, your Mom is a million times more proud of the incredible person,...

Myke Rosenthal-English

30. September, 2015 |

Wow,that is brilliant.fantastic painting of Franz Xaver Seelos who was born in Füssen(Fuessen).Can I share this on the seelos in Füssen...

Geoffrey Butz

Geoffrey Butz

22. September, 2015 |

Thanks Ann, That means a lot. I haven't seen you and your family for a long time. We have good memories with you.

antonella

antonella

15. September, 2015 |

I AGREE with Ann!!!!

Ann Orosz

Ann Orosz

15. September, 2015 |

I'm so enjoying your artwork, Geoff! You are so talented!!

Ann (Bowen) Orosz

Antonella

Antonella

15. September, 2015 |

Geoff,
...did you know that, along with St. Therese, she was one of St. MAx's favorite saints? He speaks of her autobiography as a...

Geoffrey Butz

Geoffrey Butz

14. September, 2015 |

I am sure that St. Max is smiling, I will look for her picture.

Antonella

Antonella

14. September, 2015 |

Do you want a picture of his Mom? Or rather you should have it in the archive I gave you....

St. Max is surely smiling and supporting...

Antonella

Antonella

14. September, 2015 |

AWESOME PAINTING OF SATOKO!!!!! Hopefully soon Blessed and then Saint Satoko! One more MI Saint!

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