Deborah Martinez never dreamed of the success her icons could have, the day she began collaborating in her mother’s workshop. Today, five years later, some of those “Similarities of Secrets” (as Saint John Paul II calls them), in the form of tablets decorated with dyes, he sends them to her Places as far away as Korea, Alaska or Argentina.
It all goes back to 1991, when Elena Muñoz, Deborah’s mother, painted a candle to pay for a pilgrimage. That first piece was very popular among his friends. But, it wasn’t until 2002, when Elena received inspiration in LoretoBring a picture of what happened in the house of the Holy Family to people’s homes. At the end of the trip, they made him his first order. Today, together with her daughter Deborah, she paints dozens of icons annually and sends them to different regions of the country.
For Deborah and her mother, the workshop became a meeting place with God.
“Our work is part of our life, of our faith. The workshop has become meeting with GodPeople tell us their personal stories and together we see what drawing we have to do. Icons must have meaning, because they are for prayerHave Our Lady or Christ or the saints present in the house,” Deborah told Religion in Freedom Foundation.
For the 30-year-old, icons have both an artistic side and a spiritual side. “We pray while we work. Every table is a personal meeting, if we draw the Virgin, we have an intimate dialogue with her,” she explains. Something that Deborah herself experiences every day of her life: “My husband and I have been married for three years and have no children, there have been moments of great loneliness. day, I was drawing The Virgin of Fatima, I found out how Sister Lucia felt the same lonelinessAnd the Virgin told him that she was always with him.
Deborah studied applied art on the wall and is a pupil of masters such as Giancarlo Pellegrini.
If the icons are clear about something, it is that these paintings should make God present in every home, the passion in the life of a Christian. “I always say that My first icon of Christ is in my parents’ houseHe is my father. He suffered from mental illness for years, which led to very difficult situations, which are not pretty. My father is the image I have of ChristSo I can meet him every day,” he comments. Deborah studied the arts of wall application and learned traditional iconography with masters such as Giancarlo Pellegrini or Belarusian Andrei Zharov.
This young woman’s faith makes her realize every day that these “living tablets” are also full of great hope. “Seeing my father confirms it Christ made everything new. In the bad situations we can face, Christ is always present. It helps me a lot to see how willing my mother is to leave any task of taking care of my father, even if she has to stay up all night to finish the code. Uspensky, a great Orthodox painter and theologian, says that The icon’s first intention is to transform the photographer himself. God always comes first, never disappoints, and we prove it with the trigger that gives us so much,” he admits.
For a young woman, interest in this art is growing due to the need to return to the origins.
For Débora, the art she practices with her mother has made a strong comeback in recent years. “In the West there is now The spiritual need to return to the origins. There are many people who find it difficult to approach the icons, because the shapes or positions they have are a bit strange. Artists respond to it, Some things are sweetened and more cheerful colors are usedAlways, of course, respect tradition. This indicates that the symbols are similar to the word, living thing‘ says the young woman.
The icon painter also considers it important to promote this art in Catholic circles. “It was our orthodox brothers Who protected the treasure of the icons, but during the first thousand years of history, that is, when the law of this method of painting was established, there were neither Orthodox nor Catholics, but we were all one. We were able to see him during the pandemic and before his trip to Canada, when Pope Francis prayed in front of the “Salus Populi Romani” icon. Iconography is also a Catholic thingIt is part of our culture.”
“Look at you, be your consolation”
If there is an icon that Deborah loves to paint, it’s that of Mary. “I would like to put a picture of the Virgin with the child in every home. It’s a code I never finished drawing, you can always re-enter this puzzle. The Virgin embraces her Son as if expecting pain, but at the same time she looks at the scenes. He looks at you to be your consolationEmbrace your suffering,” comments Deborah.
Iconosycirios, as the workshop Débora shares with her mother is called, paints icons that are honored at places like Os Gozos Sanctuary in Orense. He also makes murals, such as those painted by Guardian Angels, in the Diocese of Maria Madre del Hermoso in Madrid; Stations of the Cross which they send to Korea; And candles that fly to Mexico, the United States or Argentina. Deborah and Elena too They draw icons for people, which they successfully post on their social networksteach two courses on the Holydemia platform, as well as have an online store of materials for icon painting: paintings, brushes and pigments.
Débora and Elena teach online courses and have a shop of materials for icon painting.
Starting in September, Débora will continue to collaborate with her workshop from Cyprus. As a member of the Neocatechumenal method, on June 28 has been sentWith her husband to Pope Francis from Family on Mission for this Mediterranean island. “We had everything to dream about, but something important was missing. My husband and I figured out this is what we have It is only valuable if it is able to bring us closer to God. I would have agreed, if he asked me, to leave the icons, but he wanted to give me another surprise, the most appropriate destination to continue painting. An orthodox place where icons are very important, and where above all I will be able to I put myself at the service of the church Whatever he asks of me,” he concludes.