of Blessed Seelos Meet
the Positio Author Angela
Shrouded Tapestry Revealed at Beatification Ceremony
Five shrouded tapestries depicting the five Servants of God to be beatified hung from the façade of St. Peter's Basilica during the ceremony on April 9, 2000. After Archbishop Francis Schulte of New Orleans read a brief biography of Fr. Seelos before the Holy Father, all eyes turned to the façade to view the tapestry, the second from the left. The veil covering was then drawn to reveal an inspiring portrait of Blessed Seelos.
While the other four portraits were impressive head shots, the tapestry of Blessed Seelos was not only historically symbolic but represented the character and spirit of the man himself. Portrayed prominently in the center of the artwork was Blessed Seelos, imposing and dynamic. In one hand was his Redemptorist missionary cross, and in the other, a map of North America. Figures depicted in the background included Saint John Neumann, superior and mentor to Blessed Seelos, young and old immigrants with whom Blessed Seelos ministered, and a child sketching the seal of the Redemptorist Congregation. Behind the familiar landmark façade of St. Mary's Assumption Church in New Orleans sat a steamboat on the Mississippi River. Even the architecture of a typical Irish Channel home in New Orleans was represented, modeled after the actual dwelling where a Redemptorist priest was raised.
The artist commissioned by the Redemptorists for the official Seelos portrait was Giuseppe Antonio Lomuscio of Italy. The original oil painting and the tapestry are housed at the National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos in St. Mary's Assumption Church, New Orleans, LA.