ACN mourns Bradi Barth
Posted by Press Release on 8/10/2007, 10:08 amMessage modified by board administrator 7/8/2008, 1:51 pm
ACN mourns Bradi Barth
(With picture of Bradi Barth and ACN founder Fr Werenfried van Straaten, 2002 -Photo: ACN)
Bradi Barth, the Swiss painter, known to millions around the world, died on 2nd October, aged 85, at her home in the Belgian town of Kalken. For many years now, the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has been privileged to make use of her work to illustrate its publications - so much so that many of its books, published in numerous different countries and different languages, are now almost inconceivable without her illustrations.
Father Werenfried van Straaten, the founder of ACN, led people to God through his powerful preaching, while Bradi Barth did the same thing through her pictures. They were two great figures, united by an unclouded trust in God. They met for the last time in 2002, when Father Werenfried paid tribute to the artist on her 80th birthday, just a few weeks before his own death.
Bradi Barth came to know ACN through her parents who, as benefactors, felt a close bond of friendship towards the charity. Later she got to know Father Werenfried, the "Bacon Priest", personally and offered him the use of her paintings for the publications of his charity.
The Little Catechism, I Believe is illustrated throughout with the paintings of Bradi Barth and has now been published in 21 different languages and in over 5 million copies. The ACN Rosary booklet and the Way of the Cross booklet, Via Crucis -- written by the international ecclesiastical assistant of ACN, Father Joaquín Alliende - today accompany more than 3 million benefactors and project partners of the charity in their prayers. ACN's bimonthly newsletter, the Mirror, and its annual Christmas cards likewise make use of the artistic creations of Bradi Barth.
Bradi Barth studied at the Academy of Art in Ghent, where she was awarded the gold medal. Later she travelled to the shrine of Einsiedeln, where she placed her gold medal at the feet of Our Lady. Her deep devotion to Our Blessed Lady was a particular feature of her life and was reflected in all her artistic accomplishments. Through her exhibitions in Great Britain, Belgium and above all the United States, she enjoyed world renown over several decades. Her work, inspired by the Flemish and also by the Italian masters, reflects the beauty of creation and a profound religious faith. For the last 20-plus years of her life she devoted her works exclusively to biblical themes, with the objective of communicating the Gospel to others. The New Testament, which was always by her side, was the inspiration for so much of her work which, by its uprightness and beauty and its loving attention to detail, impresses and moves the beholder. The series of works on the life of Jesus (Rex tuus venit) and Mary (Magnificat), like those on the Rosary and Way of the Cross, provide an insight into her deep spirituality.
During the last four years of her life Bradi Barth was marked by illness and withdrew increasingly from her painting work. However, the works that she did create during this period are marked with a special symbolism. Her artistic labours were crowned with an impressive Gospel tableau, the images of which are meant to convey the words of Pope Benedict XVI "The one who believes is never alone". She has personally entrusted this work to Father Joaquín Alliende, quietly requesting him to frame the images with his words and to publish them.
Bradi Barth expressed her deep faith not only through her works but above all in her life and through her sufferings during the final years. She believed - and she was not alone, not even in the hour of her peaceful death.
For further information or to obtain copied of the publications featuring her beautiful work please contact the Australian office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: email@example.com or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 6245 Blacktown DC NSW 2148. Web: www.aidtochurch.org
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