Mary Jane Miller

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

November 2008
16 x 22 inches

This icon of Mother Teresa of Calcutta is one image from a series of images in the collection called, “Women Who Have Loved God." St Clare, St Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and St Scholastic are all women who lived lives of service and love. Here Mother Teresa is portrayed in her "habit" identifying herself as the founder of the "Sisters of Mercy.” This order of faithful service in India is her life’s gift.

The text that is written surrounding the portrait are the words she spoke and lived by. Her words and teachings on prayer are a gift to mankind. Much of what her rule encourages us to embrace is largely forgotten in our current speech and thinking as we go about our daily life. She speaks most about love.

The portrait resonates with that of traditional icons of the Mother and Child. In traditional iconography one must never portray the image with ones face turned away from the viewer, yet, here I did it on purpose to heighten the idea that perhaps we have turned our backs on the poor. Mother Teresa is the gift of comfort for many who die alone in despair. While working with the image I often reflected on mans need to stay in communion with what we do and for whom. The gift of sharing time, talent and means has such a large effect on our relationships and our own soul.