“Pio et Maria,” is an exhibition of paintings by Physician-visual artist Dante ‘Dan’ V. Lerma that features the Franciscan Capuchin friar St. Pio of Pietrelcina and his acclamations or exhortations to the Blessed Mother. It was opened on October 18, 2019 at the UST Museum Gallery.
The exhibition features 23 oil pastel paintings on sandpaper, 22 of which are 28cm x 23cm portraits of the famed miracle worker Padre Pio capturing his various moods, and one titled “Totus Tuus.” Lerma, an award-winning painter who comes from a family of physicians, started with his portraits in January of 2019 and completed them in April.
For its centerpiece, the exhibition has the portrait titled “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours), which depicts Padre Pio offering his mystical wounds to the Virgin Mary. It was the motto of Pope John Paul II, who visited the University in 1981 and 1995. As a young priest, the Pope, now a Saint, met with Padre Pio, where the Capuchin confided the existence of a shoulder wound, which has never been cured or treated, only to him.
Born Francesco Forgione, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina was an Italian priest known for his charity and piety and was commonly called Padre Pio. He became a priest in 1910 in spite of his poor health, and in 1918, he experienced the wounds of Christ appearing in his hands and feet. Upon manifestation of the stigmata, miracles began being attributed to him.
Previously, the University hosted the incorruptible heart relic of Padre Pio and enshrined it at the Santísimo Rosario Parish Church from October 8 to 9, 2018.
Lerma is an alumnus of the UST College of Science in 1979 and graduated from the Doctor of Medicine program of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1983. The family medicine specialist currently serves the Thomasian community as a consultant at the UST Health Service.
The exhibition was curated by UST College of Fine Arts and Design Assistant Professor Mary Ann Venturina-Bulanadi and Thomasian artist Wilfredo Offemaria Jr.
“Pio et Maria” will run until November 15, 2019.