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William Joseph Chaminade Icon

William Joseph Chaminade Icon

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade Icon

– Joseph Malham

Here are just a few thumbnail notes to give you all some insight as to the general aesthetic of the work. An icon, as you know, is not meant to be a photographic reproduction of the saint or blessed, but rather an evocation of the spirit of the person, a rendering of them in a transfigured state, dwelling in the uncreated light of God. I purposely kept the features of Blessed William oblique rather than direct, allowing for a timeless and universal dimension to shine through.

Blessed William is shown manifesting the passion of his life: his dedication to the mission entrusted to him by the Blessed Mother. This dedication is signified by the disk he holds in his hand. The disk is a traditional iconographic element used to take the viewer deeper into the mystery of the image, an aperture, as it were, within an aperture. Within the disk is contained the image of Our Lady of the Pillar. While Blessed William was not known primarily as a mystic, but a prayerful pragmatist, the image of Our Lady of the Pillar shows the ineffable moment of grace when he received his inspiration for the re-Christianization of France and ultimately for the congregation. This element will keep that transcendental moment in a perpetually present state, a continual "now" and "yes" for all who engage and pray with this icon.

Icon of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
Joseph Malham is an iconographer and artist-in-residence at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois.

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