CARDINAL Cormac MurphyO’Connor unveiled a portrait of Pope John II by James Gillick in London last week, writes Beatrice Gray. Mr Gillick is the son of the Catholic campaigner Victoria.
Dignitaries at the ceremony, which took place at Archbishop’s House on May 17, included the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Faustino Sainz-Munoz, Bishop Basil of Sergievo, Ann Widdecombe MP and Sandra Howard.
Theologian Thomas Kelly paid tribute to the “profound, mysterious and compelling effect” that the late Pope’s teaching had on the “John Paul II Generation”, to which both he and Mr Gillick belong.
The painter, whose previous portrait commissions include Baroness Thatcher and the Archbishop Emeritus of Birmingham, was granted access to the complete photographic archives of John Paul’s pontificate. Describing this as “a rare privilege”, Mr Gillick went on to speak emotionally of the humility he felt in undertaking this commission.
The portrait was commissioned by Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham and will hang in the Lady Chapel of St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham. An identical portrait will tour the country to celebrate the Year of the Eucharist and commemorate the late Pope’s pontificate.
Prayer cards bearing the image will be sold by CTS. The money raised will support the training of priests through the National Office for Vocations.