|Icon, "St. John of God carrying the Christ Child,"|
by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
I had already started working on this second icon of St. John of God but have spent many hours bringing it to completion over these past days -- even while my dear friend, Brenda, has been visiting. Often I would awaken in the night thinking of the icon, of St. John of God and of my healthy heart and then just have to get up and spend some more time working on this icon. I think I am satisfied with it now -- we'll see.
The original drawing that I worked from was one of St. John carrying an emaciated boy with a Spanish city in the background. I was inspired at some point to consider that child to be The Child, Christ Jesus, under the appearance of a poor, sick Spanish boy. Perhaps that is how St. John of God often felt as he went about gathering up the sick and downtrodden and bringing them to his "house of mercy", his "hospital". What follows is a description from his biographer of what he actually did.
"As John of God's fame spread, many people came to the house, so many in fact that there was barely standing room because he used to go out searching for those who were turned away from other hospitals. He kindly persuaded them to go to his place.If any of you out there have any comments to make regarding my recent experience, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or send me an email.
Aware of their needs, he rented another much larger house and filled it with cripples and all sorts of sick people. If they were unable to walk, he carried them upon his back. He also carried the bedding so that they, and the itinerants going there, could sleep upon it. He was able to manage and keep this place in better order. he set up some beds for those who were in greater suffering. Our Lord provided some nurses to help him serve them whilst he went out searching for alms, medicines and other means for curing the sick.
As John of God's charitable work increased, so too did the requirements and needs of the house. Many important people both at Granada and beyond, began to take notice of it. They particularly noticed John's perseverance and his good management which kept on growing from good to better. They noticed that not only was he giving shelter to itinerants and the homeless. He also set beds apart for the sick to be nursed. He was given credit to buy necessities for the poor and alms began to flow in far more than before. These took the form of blankets, sheets, pillows, clothing and other items.
All manner of poor and needy folk came to him. There were widows, innocent orphans, the genteel poor, people with lawsuits, wounded soldiers and poor, out-of-work, farm labourers on account of the disastrous drought that year... "
I continue to feel truly blessed by the prayers of all my friends and acquaintances, such as Brother Finnian in Ireland, and my Heavenly intercessors such as St. John of God.
MONKEY BUSINESSI continue to collect photo of various types of "monkeys" (including baboons and gorillas). I have always found their behaviour fascinating as it is so easy to see ourselves painted in broad strokes in the various antics and squabbles of these primates.
Following are some recent and some older photos that I find both enjoyable and instructive.
|Whoa! Hold on there little one!|
|Monkey Mother and Child -- even the animal kingdom teaches us about mother love (not always, it's true, but frequently)|
|This has got to be a little boy gorilla on his mama's back!|
|"I do hope that she will grow up to be as beautiful as her mama!"|