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Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.

Artist behind the canonization image of Mother Teresa shares little-known facts about her portrait


Chas Fagan is the American artist responsible for the now-famous tapestry of St. Mother Teresa of  Calcutta. The same one that hung on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica when Pope Francis named her a saint in the eyes of the thousands of pilgrims in attendance that day and the rest of the world that watched the ceremony on television. 

"The one that I just stopped completely at was a moment that was a candid photography in the newspapers with her and Pope John Paul II, where she is looking up to him, into his eyes, obviously. She was radiating. So, there I figured I had my little view of what Mother Teresa must have looked like to everyone else who met her.”

Despite the immense popularity the 22-by-28-inch oil-on-linen painting has amassed, it is not the first time Chas has been in the spotlight, especially when it comes to bringing religious figures to life. 
Fagan is also an accomplished sculptor. A sculpture competition in Washington D.C. facilitated him with a lifetime opportunity that would one day lead to his life-like painting of Saint Mother Teresa.   

"It's a slightly larger than life size statue of Pope John Paul II, which means that when you get up close and you can look up into his eyes. His hands are open and wide, so you see people either hugging him, literally, or just simply holding his hand.”

The powerful image of Mother Teresa was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus as a gift to the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa in 1950. 

"With Mother Teresa, I was struggling a bit to figure out which direction to take the painting and Carl Anderson, from the Knights of Columbus, was in my studio and shared with me a quotation of Mother Teresa's that he liked and it hit home for me. So, it was the "hook” that I needed.”

With only eight weeks to complete the iconic Mother Teresa painting, he describes the tedious process involved in finding the right image that would fully capture the image of Mother Teresa. 

"It's a very simple quote, 'joy is strength' and I loved it and the more I live with it the more I love it and I think that is what drove the expression you see in her face.”

Aside from working on religious figures like Saint Mother Teresa and Saint John Paul II, Chas has painted the portraits of all the U.S. Presidents and  other notable historical figures. He has a collection that regularly tours the United States for the White House Historical Association.