I received a most unusual request from a special client for an Icon of a newly canonized saint whose name was Peter Faber. The icon would be presented to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, at a private reception. I was so incredibly humbled and excited, but I knew nothing of this saint. I read everything I could on him, and found out that Peter Faber would call upon the guardian Angels of the all the towns he would visit for help and protection. I knew then I would need to paint angels around him in the icon. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (meaning For the Greater Glory of God) was the motto for the Jesuits, so I knew it would need to be included as well. I placed the phrase within his halo, because it seemed it was in living the Ignatian way which I am sure got him to heaven. One of Peter Faber’s most loved quoted was,"Take care,never to closeyour heart to anyone," so that also would be included.
When my clients eventually presented the icon to the Pope, they sent me a picture of the event. They later would tell me how when he received it, the Holy Father said, "AHH! Peter Faber," of course in Spanish. Reportedly the Pope originally thought he was simply blessing the icon for this couple, but when he found out it was a gift for him, he became very excited. It was Pope Francis who canonized St. Peter Faber on his own birthday, and the Holy Father is said to have molded his life after Peter Faber. To think now how this icon created in my small studio in Rancho Cucamonga, is now with the Pope, all I can say is AMDG!