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Tommy Canning

Divine Mercy Chaplet

From Tommy Canning's website:

"I was born on Christmas day in 1969 into a Catholic family; the youngest of the five sons of John and Mary Canning. Baptized a few days later in St. John Bosco’s Church in New Stevenston, a Lanarkshire village located 12 miles south of the city of Glasgow in the west of Scotland, which is where I spent my childhood years.

"... at age nineteen, I went with my family on holiday to Rome. I was greatly inspired by the awesome beauty in the works of Michelangelo, especially the Sistine Chapel, the works of Raphael, the Vatican museums, and the architectural Majesty of St Peter’s in the works of Bernini. It was a redefining moment in my artistic direction and had a profound impact on my work from then on.

"This new kind of seeing slowly opened me to an awakening and greater appreciation of our Catholic Heritage and ancient faith, and the unique universality and beauty of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This journey led me to the beauty of Marian devotion, and through the inspiration of the Blessed Mother, she led family and myself to the spiritual diary of
St. Faustina Kowalska and the message of Divine Mercy.

"As my interest in ‘Sacred Art’ grew and, intrigued by the request of
Our Lord when He said to St. Faustina, ‘Paint a picture according to the pattern you see…’ , my paintings and illustrations included a number of subjects relating to the mystical visions of St. Faustina.

"Other paintings included scenes from the Passion that were inspired largely by the powerful preaching and writing of the late
Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I have also produced a number of works of The Madonna who is the ‘Tota Pulchra’ as portrayed by countless artists down the centuries, and who, as the philosopher Dante contemplates among the splendours of Paradise as ‘Beauty that was joy in the eyes of all the other saints’.

Tommy Canning

"In 1999, Pope John Paul II wrote a beautiful letter to artists, in which he expressed the hopes for artists in the third millennium. ‘May your art help to affirm that true beauty which, as a glimmer of the spirit of God, will transfigure matter, opening the human soul to the sense of the eternal’. And in another place he wrote: ‘ Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savour life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God, which a lover of beauty like St. Augustine could express in incomparable terms: ‘Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you!’ (John Paul II, letter to artists. 1999).

"Encouraged by this letter of the Holy Father, it is my hope that through my work, I can continue in a small way to promote and contribute to a rebirth and renewal of interest in Catholic Sacred Art in the Church and in the home. I always strive to attain the highest standards in the quality of art I produce and hope this will inspire people to rediscover the value of a beautiful work of art, and see the goodness, beauty and truth of our Catholic heritage. I can attest to the power of sacred images and the impact it had in my own life, at age nineteen, standing in St. Peter’s basilica in wonder and awe at the beauty the love of God can inspire. May many more people, young and old, experience that beauty so old and so new."

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