On September 18, 2021, Oakcrest School in Vienna, Virginia dedicated an original, commissioned painting of the Holy Family for the school’s chapel. Particularly fitting in this Year of St. Joseph and Year of the Family, the 8 ft x 9 ft oil on canvas Nativity painting reflects the teachings of St. Josemaria Escriva, the Founder of Opus Dei, and the mission of Oakcrest, an independent school for girls in grades 6-12 inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church and the spirituality of Opus Dei.
Head of School, Dr. Mary T. Ortiz and AP Art History teacher Victoria Bigliano worked closely with the artist, Henry Wingate, to share with him the inspirations from St. Josemaria they hoped the painting would convey.
St. Josemaria had a special love for Nativity scenes. “Look at the Child in the manger. He is our Love. Look at him, realizing what a great mystery it is” (Christ is Passing By, 13). His ardent devotion to the Holy Family, coupled with the attraction that the manger scene has for young hearts, played a large role in the selection of the theme of this centerpiece for the school’s chapel.