“En el Nombre del Padre…” San Francisco Javier Baptizing, retablo painting by AVonnHartung, in Parroquia San Francisco Javier (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico)
Commissioned by Padre Julio Victor García 2002
This retablo, measuring approximately 6 ft in width by 11 ft in height is the original design of the artist, built in his studio out of solid mahogany, painted in acrylic and gilded in gold and copper leaf.
It depicts San Francisco Javier baptizing a youth who symbolizes the young and future church (by Jesuit records San Francisco Javier converted over 700,000 souls to the faith, principally in India, Malaysia and Japan), whose people are seen coming to the faith.
The Holy Family is represented by any and all who do the Will of the Father in bringing young souls to be saved.
The children brought forth by their Godparents engage us in reflection and contemplative prayer.
Above the head of San Francisco Javier is depicted the sacred image of The Holy Trinity, originally written (painted) by the great 15th century Russian iconographer Andre Rublev. Its inclusion, the inspiration of Padre Julio, is meant to draw us into the mystery of God, and to remind us of God’s love.
Surrounding this cascade of divinity with its luminous light and vapors, are luxurious examples of Holy Creation as expressed in the abundance of nature, by the breadfruit and mango trees and the flowers, symbolizing love, beauty and resurrection, and by the depiction of the dove which is drawn closer, and the serpent which is driven away.
The frame serves as a window showing the sign of the Cross with which through baptism we identify ourselves as Christians and are united in the Trinity and Salvation of God. It also identifies the salvific work of San Francisco Javier.