The Jesus image that is far and away my favorite shows Jesus the Prince of Peace. And it has an amazing story to go along with the purposeful and strong yet gentle and loving image of our Savior.
Now, just to note right off, it is my understanding that the information surrounding this image of Jesus hasn't been confirmed by the Catholic Church. However, I think it is an amazing story, and the painting definitely helps me to connect with Jesus during prayer. So I felt prompted to share the image and describe some of the amazing stories surrounding it.
The image was painted by an 8 year old child, Akiane, in 2003.
Although she was being raised in an atheist environment, she had been having visions of heaven and Jesus from the time she was about 4 years old. She had no artistic training, but began painting complex and beautiful images based on her visions by the age of 6.
When she painted 'Prince of Peace', she had been having visions of Jesus, but was fuzzy on the details of his face. One day, a carpenter (yes, a carpenter!) came to her family's house looking for work, and Akiane recognized that his was the face she needed to bring her vision into focus so that she could bring it to life on canvas.
In this Katie Couric interview with her, she describes what happened a bit more:
What really amazes me though, is the following:
1. When Colton Burpo (the 4 year old child who in 2003 had a near-death episode and afterwards described an experience of visiting heaven and meeting Jesus) saw the portrait painted by Akiane in 2006, he exclaimed that it was a picture of the same man he had met in his heavenly experience. (To get the full context of how that all happened, read the book 'Heaven Is For Real'. It is an easy read, and a heartwarming story!)
2. Akiane's painting was analyzed as a comparison to the Shroud of Turin. I don't really know anything about the credentials and credibility of the person or organization who did the analysis, but I found some interesting information regarding the analysis process on the site DatumEnt.com, and a neat video to watch, that explains and illustrates how the painting was lined up with an image of the shroud.
Again, although none of this has been verified by the Catholic Church as far as I know, it certainly is quite a story, and inspirational to think that these children may have had experiences that they are now sharing with the world that can help to bring others into a closer relationship with our Lord!
Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed day!