Painting by Antonella Cappuccio
Oil on canvas, 2003.
The image is one of spiritual guidance and comfort provided to the throngs of newly arrived immigrants by the Knights of Columbus and its founder, Father Michael J. McGivney. The priest’s example continue to inspire Knights today, and his vision is captured beautifully by Cappuccio in this piece.
Here the artist shows the settlers coming to the shores of America through New York Harbor, bringing with them the hopes and dreams of a new life - economic, cultural and spiritual. The symbolic Statue of Liberty is seen off in the distance offering solace, hope and prayers to all who pass “beside the golden door.”
At the far right we see Father McGivney, seated, holding an opened book. Behind him we glimpse the facade of St. Mary’s Church, where the young curate first organized the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn.
He saw clearly that both Catholics and the Church faced serious problems in the last half of the 19th century such as anti-Catholicism and ethnic prejudice, underemployment, lack of social standing, and early loss of the breadwinner.
The Order’s emblem appears above the enveloping drapery. The moon and morning stars provide a backdrop for the beginning of a new day in a new land.