Raúl Berzosa's two paintings for 50 years of pope's priestly vocation
Dec. 13 is a special day for Pope Francis, his 50th year as a priest.
This is why the Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office asked Spanish painter Raúl Berzosa for a special task: to paint two moments from Pope Francis' life, 50 years apart.
“For me, Pope Francis is an important pope. Above all, because every work of art I have done for the Vatican has been for this pope. I was lucky enough to meet him personally in 2016, at the General Audience. I gave him my painting for his 80th birthday, commissioned by the Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office.”
Now, the two paintings he made for the pope´s 50th anniversary are a bit different. The first portrays Jorge Bergoglio's emotion on Dec. 13, 1969, the day he was ordained a priest. On his right is the Basilica of San José de Flores, where he first heard the call to his vocation. On his left is one of his greatest devotions: Our Lady the Undoer of Knots.
The other painting is titled, “Francisco,” or “Pope Francis.” It's dedicated to mercy. Next to Pope Francis is St. Faustina's Jesus of Divine Mercy. St. Peter's Basilica is seen on the other side .
“I made my painting in a realistic and figurative style. Figurative, because the human body is beauty, it is clear, and beauty takes us to God, and also God became man. So I think that, today, is the way. ”
The Vatican has hired Raúl Berzosa for many pieces. His paintings often fill up the booklets for ceremonies in St. Peter's. He's also depicted three other popes on paper: Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
“It gives me a great sense of pride. Because creating paintings for the Vatican is a huge step for a painter and artist. It's a dream come true, but it's also a huge responsibility.”
The Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office made the two paintings into special edition stamps. Thanks to them, the pope's priestly golden anniversary will travel around the world.