Eyes of the Heart Studio

Star of the New Evangelization

A madonna for the dawn of the third millennium. Our Lady, fashioned after Our Lady of Guadalupe, is depicted as a bright star, illuminating the night sky with the grace and light of the Holy Spirit.

Medium: Coloured Pencil

This image was inspired by the Marian title “Star of the New Evangelization”, a Madonna for the dawn of the Third Millennium. In this drawing, Our Lady resembles the Virgin of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and a powerful vehicle of the first evangelization of the New World. In the years after she was believed to have appeared, Mexico witnessed a sudden increase in conversions: ten million Aztecs were baptized into Catholicism during the 1530’s, compared with one million in the previous decade. Belief in her apparitions formed common ground that helped dissolve the barriers to Spanish-Aztec cooperation. Although she appealed to the Aztec imagination, the Virgin did more than replace one set of religious symbols with another; her primary function was to put flesh on the Christian spirit, providing missionaries with an example they could use to preach conversion. As the Aztecs accepted Christianity, they integrated Catholic-European institutions and social forms into village life, and by embracing a new moral code, they fashioned a Christian-Aztec society through intermarriage with the Spanish. Thus, the Virgin of Guadalupe is symbolic of how Mexico became Catholic.

Nearing the end of the 20th century, Pope St. John Paul II sounded the call for a “New Evangelization”, that the world might be re-Christianized through a return to the Gospel. Sadly, lands that once bore the imprint of Christian civilization have lost their spiritual orientation through the destructive inroads of materialism, hedonism, relativism and atheism, forging a culture with no place for Christ and His Truth. This is certainly the case in North America. We Christians are called to announce the Gospel anew to a generation that has yet to hear His saving Word. Our mission resembles that of the first apostles who Christianized the Roman Empire through the testimony of their preaching, their charity and even their blood. It also resembles those of the first Christian missionaries to the Americas, who announced the Gospel to pagan peoples in the hopes of leading them into Christ’s fold, paying for their witness with the sacrifice of their lives.

As we embark upon this mission of the New Evangelization, we need Our Lady to be our bright Star, guiding us according to the pattern of her virtues and forming Christ within our souls. She is a quiet light, radiating Christ through her gentleness, mercy and love. Her love is always inseparable from the truth of her divine Son, who alone is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:16). In this image, Our Lady holds the Word of God, reading “Sactifica eos in veritate sermo tuus veritas est” – Latin for “Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Following Our Lady’s lead, contemporary Christians require the power of the Holy Spirit to unite their love for others with the truth of the Gospel, because it is no longer socially acceptable to make “truth claims”. However politically incorrect, the truths of salvation are independent of public opinion, having their source in God Himself. Therefore, we love our neighbours best by inviting them into relationship with Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit anoint us with holy boldness in proclaiming the truths of salvation, that in Jesus, those around us may come to discover the meaning of their lives and attain eternal life.