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Alterpiece “Mater Purissima”

In 1950, the parish commissioned ecclesiastical artist Sister Mary Veronica (Community of Saint Mary) to paint an altarpiece. The oil and gold painting, entitled "Mater Purissima" (Latin: purest mother), emulates the medieval styles of fifteenth century European masters Friars Angelico and Lippi. The colors are traditional—red symbolizing the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and blue representing the Purity of His Blessed Mother, Saint Mary. 

Ralph Adams Cram (1863-1942), one of the preeminent ecclesiastical architects of the twentieth century, considered Mary Veronica as the greatest iconographer of his time. Cram once said that she was the only artist for whom he would willingly alter his designs. 

She was born Ella MCullough and lived from 1864 to 1965. Her paintings are on display in select cathedrals and churches throughout the United States and overseas. Saint James is most fortunate to enjoy one of Mary Veronica’s works.

(Dimensions: 4 feet high by 5 feet, 2 inches wide)

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