Artists & Medical Personnel – Part XXXIII

French artist James Tissot returned to the Faith and illustrated a 'Life of Our Lord'



In order to learn how to recognize holiness in laypersons, we have looked at people by occupation. Let’s finish with a few more:


Do you think any of the following Catholic artists were holy? Consider the painters Giotto (c. 1267-1337), Michelangelo (1475-1564), Raphael (1483-1520), Rubens (1577-1640), Jan van Eyck (c. 1390-1441), Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), and the sculptor Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962). French artist James J. Tissot (1836-1902), after his return to the Faith, illustrated The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1899) with 350 paintings. The Brooklyn Museum describes the impetus of Tissot’s The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which the museum acquired in full in 1900:

Following a successful career painting London society, Tissot returned to Paris in 1882 to reestablish his reputation in his homeland, revisiting familiar fashionable terrain with a series of fifteen works called The Woman of Paris. While sketching for one of his subjects at the Church of Saint-Sulpice, however, he suddenly experienced a religious vision during the service: a bloodied but luminous Christ comforting the tattered poor in the rubble of a devastated building… Tissot rededicated himself to the Catholicism of his youth and embarked on a ten-year project to illustrate the New Testament.” (see “The Scriptural Stations of the Cross” watercolor paintings by Tissot at The Catholic Thing, April 19, 2019,

Medical Personnel

Benedictine Mother Hildegard writes a blog to introduce readers to 20th– and 21st-century saints, canonized and not-yet-canonized. Three of her subjects were doctors, two of whom are Servants of God mentioned earlier: Jerome Lejeune and Giancarlo Rastelli. The third is Lester Sauvage (1926-2015), husband and father of eight. In February 2020, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints opened the cause for the canonization of mountain-climber and medical doctor Wanda Blenska (1911-2014), lay missionary in Uganda, known as the “Mother of the Lepers.” Another doctor was Stanley J. Dudrick (1935-2020), who invented intravenous hydration and nutrition, or total parenteral nutrition (TPN).


***Editor’s Note: For Part XXXIV in this series, click here


James M. Thunder has left the practice of law but continues to write. He has published widely, including a Narthex series on lay holiness. He and his wife Ann are currently writing on the relationship between Father Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope) and lay people.

From The Narthex

Forever Rest

Mt. Everest is the highest mountain in the Himalayan system, located near the common border…

More Questions for the L.A. Times

You might recall, gentle reader, that I’m putting together an Open Letter to the Editorial…

Master of Illusion

Houdini was the master of illusion in the 1920s. Like today’s David Copperfield -- the…