.- In honor of the life and influence of Pope John Paul II, especially on younger generations, Franciscan University of Steubenville recently unveiled a life-sized painting of the pontiff to be housed in the campus’ John Paul II Library.
According to University Public Relations director Tom Sofio, the painting, which depicts a young Karol Wojtyla as a university student in Krakow, Poland during World War II, was unveiled within hours of the conclusion of the pope’s funeral Mass on Friday.
California artist Lisa Steinbrenner Andrews, who specializes in portraiture and still life subjects, produced the painting. Andrews, whose son attends the university, is a founding member of California’s Bay Area Classical Artist Guild.
Speaking to a crowded lobby of students at the unveiling, she said, “This portrait could not hang in any other place and have the same significance, the same impact. It was painted for you at this precise stage of your lives. In it I attempted to personalize for you a critical moment in world and Church history when God called, and someone answered.”
Father Terence Henry, TOR, the university’s president also added his thoughts saying, “I don’t know if we have a future pope in this gathering today. I do know that each of us has a unique call from God.”
“I hope”, he said, “this painting inspires you students here today, and all of our future Franciscan University students, to follow in John Paul II’s footsteps and become men and women of hope and courage, whose lives will be a transforming presence in the Church and in the world.”