December 06, 2010

Vatican acknowledges Kateri book

Vatican recognizes Taos artist's work

By Chandra JohnsonWhile art created in Taos has received global recognition, a Taos artist has recently drawn attention from Rome. Taos painter Giovanna Paponetti received a letter from the Vatican thanking her for sending Pope Benedict XVI a copy of her book, “Kateri: Native American Saint.”

The subject of Paponetti’s book is Kateri Tekakwitha, a Native woman who became a Catholic in the 1600s and is the only American Indian ever to be considered for sainthood. “Never in my life did I expect this,” Paponetti said of the letter.

The project included the 21 paintings featured in Paponetti’s book and took five years to complete. Each painting depicts a significant moment in Kateri’s life. All the paintings are in an 18-foothigh altar screen for a Pueblo church in Okay Owingeh, who commissioned Paponetti.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Saint Due to Flesh-Eating Bacteria? and Annual Blessed Kateri Mass.

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