Fr. John Giuliani Paints Native Madonna’s and Christ Figures

Father John Giuliani was a son of Italian immigrants who excelled at drawing. He studied art at Pratt Institute in New York.  However, he responded to a call to the priesthood and he was ordained as a Catholic priest, temporarily putting aside his art to give his life to the church.

He returned to painting which flows from the contemplative life,  creating iconic depictions of Native American peoples as Christian saints. Father John Giuliani explains

As a Catholic priest and son of Italian immigrants I bear the religious and ethnic burden of ancestral crimes perpetrated on the first inhabitants of the Americas.  Many have been converted to Christianity, but in doing so some find it difficult to retain their indigenous culture.  My intent, therefore, in depicting Christian saints as Native Americans is to honor them and to acknowledge their original spiritual presence on this land.  It is this original Native American spirituality that I attempt to celebrate in rendering the beauty and excellence of their craft as well as the dignity of their persons.

Father Giuliani is the 2007 recipient of the Mother Theresa Award for Religious Art.


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