“I was fearful when I started painting St. Augustine”

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The Augustinian Recollect David Conejo is the author of the new painting of St. Augustine which was presented and blessed this Monday, April 29, at the Formation House of Las Rozas (Madrid, Spain). It is inspired by the first known representation of the bishop of Hippo.

Facing a blank canvas is a challenge. For the Augustinian Recollect David Conejo, the challenge was twofold: he had to fill in the space of 162×130 centimeters representing St. Augustine, father and doctor of the Church. For this reason, the artist born in Cartago (Costa Rica) affirms that he felt “fear” for all of this and because the image, which was presented and blessed this Monday at the Casa de Formación San Agustín de Las Rozas (Madrid, Spain), will be an image of worship and veneration. The new painting

The challenge of representing St. Augustine began a long time ago. “When I started classes five years ago, it was one of the projects I imagined I would do someday,” he says. However, David Conejo began this new work on behalf of the community, which wanted an image of St. Augustine, the patron saint of the house. “On my own I wouldn’t have undertaken it because I know it’s very difficult,” he confesses.

The initial fear has turned with the progress of the process into satisfaction; the same that he felt this Monday when he unveiled the canvas that covered the new work, which joins so many representations of St. Augustine. “He is a great saint who has been painted by the best artists of all history.

David Conejo has taken reference to the oldest known representation of St. Augustine: the sixth century fresco of the Lateran Palace in Rome. “My intention is that we remember, on seeing this painting, the first image we have of St. Augustine. The new painting re-edits the fresco, giving it more realism.

It was the Augustinian Recollect Enrique Eguiarte who, chatting in Salamanca, suggested that he approach and take this fresco as the basis for a painting of the bishop of Hippo. “He told me that when I wanted to paint our father, I should take as a reference the oldest image of St. Augustine,” he says. And why? No one has looked at this representation and it is the closest testimony to his death, almost 100 years after his death; it can be more or less faithful to how Augustine was,” he says.

Fray David Cornejo, OAR (wearing black habit) unveils his painting of St. Augustine in the presence of the community of Las Rozas, Madrid.

St. Augustine, contemplative next to the Word of God

The artist explains the painting in which the figure of the saint is surprising. “We can see a man of a certain age. He is not young; he is entering his old age,” he says. Everything in this painting reminds us of the Lateran fresco, the elements are the same. “The dress is a toga, the garment of the free Roman citizen, with a purple stripe alluding to his episcopal dignity. He also wears a robe, the toga of the senators,” he explains. All this “represents its importance for the one who embodied it in Lateran in the 6th century”.

The axis of the painting is the Word of God: “He is contemplative, pointing to the word of God; we see a bishop speaking and interpreting the word. With his right hand he points to the Holy Scriptures; with his left hand he holds a scroll that represents his extensive work.

St. Augustine is barefoot in the painting. This is how it appears in the original fresco, although David Conejo wanted to give it another meaning: “It is associated with the Recollection and its barefoot”.

In the lower left part, another detail. “There is the phrase that accompanies the Lateran fresco: many parents said many things, but this one said it all in the language of the Romans. This makes the spiritual sense resound.

“An Approach” to St. Augustine

For the author, this painting “has meant a more experiential approach to how he is, to his way of thinking…”. With Saint Augustine, as with any work, David has had to carry out a closer study of his figure in order to familiarise himself and represent exactly what he wants.

In order to paint St. Augustine, one must always be up to the task. “Something is always expected from a painting of Saint Augustine. He has a personality, a testimony, a written work, his whole spirituality… It is difficult”.

The spectacular work, oil on canvas, realistic and baroque, is already in what will be its definitive place: the chapel of the House of Formation where it was blessed. There he will receive worship and, for many, he will clarify the image of St. Augustine.

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September
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1
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    September 1, 2019

    WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION

    NOVENA TO ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO BEGINS

    80th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BEGINNING OF WORLD WAR II (1939)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, D.D. (Diocese of Antipolo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Francisca de Sta. Maria, AR Sr. Placida Patrimonio, AR

    OLCP- MIRANILA FIESTA MASS
    Time: 11:00 AM
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Roberto Gaa, D.D.

2
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Miguel Miró (69th)
    Fray Federico Gregorio

3
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    NATIONAL CONVENTION ON LAUDATO SI AND CLIMATE EMERGENCY
    September 3-5, 2019 / Layforce, San Carlos Seminary, Makati City

    GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
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    Fray Hernando Coja

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray James Erold Gatinao (simple Prof.)
    Sr. Annielyn Alejado, AR

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    Sr. Ma. Rosario Padilla, AR

4
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    September 4, 2019

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION
    Be reminded of the plenary indulgence we may obtain today!

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE
    September 4-6, 2019

    Day 1: ROME – MAPUTO
    8:00 Departure by air from Rome-Fiumicino Airport for Maputo
    18:30 Welcome ceremony at Maputo Airport

    BIRTHDAY
    Ms. Brenda Saliendra, Sister General of the OAR

    SILVER JUBILEE OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (1993-2019)
    Fray Emilio Jaruda

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Melchora de Sta. Teresita de Jesus, AR

5
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    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE Day 2: MAPUTO
    -Courtesy Visit to the President in the “Ponta Vermelha” Palace
    -Meeting with the Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in Ponta Vermelha Palace
    -Interreligious Meeting with the Young in the Pavillon Maxaquene
    -Lunch in the nunciature
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    -Animators in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

    INSTALLATION OF MOST REV. JOSE RAMIREZ RAPADAS III, D.D. (Bishop of Iligan)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sixto Ciriaco Bitangjol
    Fray Tomokatsu Yamaguchi (deacon)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
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6
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    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE

    Day 3: MAPUTO – ANTANANARIVO
    -Visit to Zimpeto Hospital
    -Holy Mass in the Stadium of Zimpeto

    12:40 Farewell ceremony at Maputo Airport

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MADAGASCAR
    September 6-9, 2019

    DAY 1: ARRIVAL FROM MOZAMBIQUE
    16:30 Welcome ceremony at Antananarivo Airport

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Rellyric Delos Santos
    Fray John Zachary Haguisan

7
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    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MADAGASCAR

    Day 2: ANTANANARIVO
    -Courtesy Visit to the President in the “Iavoloha” Presidential Palace
    -Meeting with the Authorities, Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the Ceremony Building
    -Prayer in the Monastery of the Descalced Carmelites Meeting with Bishops of Madagascar in the Cathedral of Andohalo
    -Visit to the Tomb of Blessed Beata Victoire Rasoamanarivo
    -Vigil with the Young in the Soamandrakizay diocesan field

    SOLEMN PROFESSION OF VOWS
    9:00 AM / Our Lady of Consolation Parish Church, Quezon City
    Fray Cristito Rey P. Tepace
    Fray Virgilio C. Calalang, Jr.

    OLCP- LARAY FIESTA MASS
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    LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK “ST. EZEKIEL MORENO: STUDIES ON HIS MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
    9:00 AM / Fray Luis de Leon Library, UNO-R, Bacolod City

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Regino Bangcaya
    Sr. Anita Manigo, AR

8
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    BIRTHDAY OF MAMA MARY

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO MADAGASCAR

    Day 3: ANTANANARIVO
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    PATRONAL FIESTA MASS @ SNTP – DALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
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    LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK “ST. EZEKIEL MORENO: STUDIES ON HIS MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
    9:30 AM / STV-R, San Carlos City

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Monday Benjamine Edobor (deacon)
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    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE & SOLEMN PROFESSION
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9
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    2019 WORLD TOURISM DAY
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    UNIVERSITY WEEK – UNO-R BACOLOD
    Inclusive Dates: September 9-13, 2019

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    Fray Dionisio Selma – Prior Provincial

10
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    SOLEMNITY OF ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINE
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    FIESTA MASS @ SNT ORATORY – UNO-R BACOLOD
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    LAUNCHING OF THE BOOK “ST. EZEKIEL MORENO: STUDIES ON HIS MISSIONARY ACTIVITY IN THE PHILIPPINES”
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    BIRTHDAY
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12
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    20TH PROVINCIAL COUNCIL MEETING

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13
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    Fray Jose Ernil Almayo

14
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15
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    FIESTA MASS @ HOLY CROSS PARISH, TALIAO, KAOHSIUNG CITY, TAIWAN
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    Presider: Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos OAR (Parish Priest)

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Anthony Morillo
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16
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    107th ANNIVERSARY OF RELIGIOSAS FAMILIAS

    UNIVERSITY WEEK – USJ-R, CEBU
    Inclusive dates: September 16-21, 2019

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Robin Ross Plata (deacon)
    Sr. Mary Ann Lumactao, AR

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17
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    BIRTHDAY
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    (Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa)

18
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    Sr. Ma. Ruth Gulane, AR

19
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    FEAST – ST. ALONSO DE OROZCO

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    Fray Joseph Philip Trayvilla
    Fray Joel Alve

20
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21
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    Sr. Salvacion Olalo, AR
    Sr. Ma. Susana Quiñones, AR

22
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23
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    Sr. Agustina Salcedo, AR

24
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    2019 CEAP NATIONAL CONVENTION
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    Fray Emeterio Buñao

25
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Esperanza Heffler, AR

2627
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28
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    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BLESSED MARTYRS OF JAPAN

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION:
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29
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    105th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roderick Deguit

30
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