I carved this icon in American Linden wood. It is an interpretation influenced by the tradition of Eastern Orthodox Iconography. Saint Michael the Archangel stares down the evil one who he has pinned with his staff. I carved in the upper corners the two fallen angels as they shrink away in shame from His divine power.
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.”
Esculpí este icono en madera de tilo americano. Es una interpretación influenciada por la tradición de la iconografía ortodoxa oriental. San Miguel Arcángel mira fijamente al maligno que ha inmovilizado con su bastón. Esculpí en las esquinas superiores a los dos ángeles caídos mientras se alejaban avergonzados de Su poder divino.
San Miguel Arcángel, defiéndenos en la lucha. Sé nuestro amparo contra la perversidad y acechanzas del demonio. Que Dios manifieste sobre él su poder, es nuestra humilde súplica. Y tú, oh Príncipe de la Milicia Celestial, con el poder que Dios te ha conferido, arroja al infierno a Satanás, y a los demás espíritus malignos que vagan por el mundo para la perdición de las almas. Amén.
“It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness.” (Pope Saint John Paul II)
St. Joseph, man of deep Faith. He received his revelations through DREAMS. Hence, I carved him with his eyes closed; the revelation that Mary was to be the mother God (Mt 1:20), his dream that they should flee to Egypt to escape the murderous wrath and jealousy of King Herod (Mt 2:13)
Shown here, in celebration of St. Joseph’s Feast Day, is my high relief wood sculpture “Holy Family” (42 x 44-inches)
The setting is the Temple (Luke 2:41-50)
Today, San Jose Church in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is reopening after a massive reconstruction that took nearly twenty years to complete. Built between 1532 and 1735, it is a restoration of the second oldest surviving Spanish church in the Americas. Providentially this coincides with the celebration of The Year of St. Joseph, proclaimed by Pope Francis.
The Mass will be celebrated by Mons. Roberto Gonzalez Nieves.
My most recent wood sculpture, carved through the period of the hurricanes Irma and MARIA. Approximately 3 feet high, carved in Tropical Cedar because of the desired color and its resistance to termites here in Puerto Rico. For Capilla Maria Auxiliadora, a small chapel in rural Carolina, Puerto Rico.
I’ve carved St. Joseph as a protector and a traveler; a stand-up guy who was always looking out for his wife and child, ready to defend them along the way of life which was full of dangers. He was a man of deep Faith who received his revelations through DREAMS: that Mary was the mother of God and that he should get out of Bethlehem and go to Egypt to escape the danger of Herod who wanted to kill the newborn King. Of course, we know he was a carpenter and must have been a wonderful father.
I will be teaching a Wood Carving Workshop at the Sacred Art Institute on beautiful Enders Island in Mystic, Connecticut on Long Island Sound.
Date: August 6-11, 2017
Learn a new skill or continue more advanced study
View a video of last year’s Wood Carving Workshop
Although Enders Island is a Catholic retreat center, it is “committed to Pope Saint John Paul II’s vision of inclusiveness and friendship among all faiths…”
Hope to see you there!
“Described as a ‘little known gem’ this 11 acre island is surrounded by beautiful gardens framing breathtaking ocean vistas. Home to St. Edmund’s Retreat, there is a soulful tranquility to this place that seems to hang in the air with the ocean breezes. There are plenty of garden paths to walk and seaside benches to soak in the sun and saltwater air.…” (Assisi Institute)
If you can make it, to start a new hobby or to continue more advanced study, this class is for you!
Although St. Edmund’s is a Catholic Order, it is ecumenical in spirit and outreach and all are welcome! Hope to see you there!
“Described as a ‘little known gem’ this 11 acre island is surrounded by beautiful gardens framing breathtaking ocean vistas. Home to St. Edmund’s Retreat, there is a soulful tranquility to this place that seems to hang in the air with the ocean breezes. There are plenty of garden paths to walk and seaside benches to soak in the sun and saltwater air. It is a short trip into the picturesque coastal village of Stonington, CT., one of the last remaining authentic New England fishing villages…” (Assisi Institute)
Today October 18th is the Feast Day of St. Luke the Evangelist, patron saint of physicians and artists. And so I pay special homage to him with this wood sculpture.
Artistically I have tried through composition and subject matter to place St. Luke in the center of his mission. I have also attempted, in the style of this wood carving, to give a feeling of the harmony brought to him through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Luke was St. Paul’s companion and biographer and author of Acts of the Apostles, a continuation of his gospel. A gentile from Syria of Greek lineage (as indicated by the style of his hair and garments), he is juxtaposed to the winged ox, symbol of sacrifice, patient servitude and strength, and to the Parable of the Sower from his gospel (Lk 8:4-9)
The tempestuous backdrop witnesses to his shipwreck with Paul (Acts 27:13-42) and the many trials and tribulations he experienced struggling to keep pace with him on his missionary journeys. Luke holds his written witness in a book (gospel) that looks much like we might perceive a paperback because of the dynamics of his perilous travels with Paul.
Luke “studied the life and words of Jesus with utmost care, knew and relied upon witnesses to the actual events–including Mary and St. John–and devoted some time to speaking with the women who had traveled with Jesus. The Gospel [of Luke] is thus especially notable for the respect and attention it pays to women in the Church, in contrast to the role of women both in Jewish and pagan society…Luke stresses the mercy of God, documenting the merciful acts of Christ…Luke also devoted much attention–more than his fellow evangelists–to the interior life of prayer…” (OSV’s Encyclopedia of Catholic History, by Matthew Bunson, D.Min.)
“…and so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)
Artistically I have tried through composition and subject matter to place St. Peter in the center of his mission, striving in the style of the carving to impart a feeling of the harmony brought to him through the gift of the Holy Spirit. In his countenance as a man I have attempted to show his strength and vulnerability as well as the dynamic quality of his inspiration.
This carved tabernacle door depicts the hillside of Jerusalem where Jesus was buried. The rising sun shows it to be Easter morning as the three women skip down the path together in an expression of great joy upon realizing that Jesus has risen.
The grave is empty, sculpted out to serve as the handle of the door, so each time the priest opens the tabernacle, he must put his hand into the empty tomb.
Commissioned in 1992 by Padre Jorge Castillejo Lluisiá for Casa de Niños Manuel Fernández Juncos, San Juan, Puerto Rico