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Holy Living Martyr Dianna Ortiz

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Holy Living Martyr Dianna Ortiz

Holy Living Martyr Dianna Ortíz
“Close your physical eye, so that you may see your picture first with the spiritual eye. Then bring what you saw in the dark into the light, so that it may have an effect on others, shining inwards from outside.”
From the incredible deeply spiritual German Artist, Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
When Robert Ellsberg, editor of Orbis Press, published the book “The Blindfold’s Eyes : My Journey From Torture to Truth” by Dianna and Patricia Davis, in 2004, he sent me a copy, I was living in Taos at that time. I sat up reading for hours. I was going to read the whole thing in one sitting. I had the profound impression I was reading the life of a Martyr who had lived to tell her story. I was so deeply affected by the book that while I was reading that night, my friend and author of a book on my icons and images, (“Image to Insight” published by University of New Mexico Press, 2018) John Dadosky called me, and from everything I was experiencing, including sheer grief, terror, horror, as well as Dianna’s radiant holiness, counseled me to finish the book later. I have never read anything like it before or since. I so wish I could have met Dianna, but never did. There have been numerous articles on her life in many newspapers and online, so you can find so much information now. I can think of so many things she can be called upon to intercede for us now. But especially those who suffer daily from PTSD and they desperately need a patron. I don’t think there’s anything she will not understand if you pray to her. Also there are those who feel like they can never be forgiven and who stay outside the Church because of something inside torturing them. Dianna is here for those people too. I’m not quite sure if this is an icon or an image (like Elijah McClain, Matthew Shephard or Rachel Carson) but I’ll let God decide that. I wanted to portray the blood, (red background) the passion she endured (purple Lenten colors) and the turquoise always associated with New Mexico because she grew up here. I also wanted to portray her Radiant Light which grows brighter each day since her passing into God on this past February 19th. One of the articles I read by the priest who anointed her, said the presence of God was palpable in her room as she was dying. I have felt very close to her since her death and pray to her everyday.
(The prayer I chose is an adaptation of the prayer for the feast of St Sebastian from the old Sacramentary. Sebastian lived through the first attempt to kill him by shooting him with arrows. St Irene found him and nursed him back to life. He then confronted Emperor Diocletian, who thought he was dead, and was finally beheaded, 20 January 288.)
“Dear Lord,
Fill us with that spirit of courage which gave Holy Living Martyr Dianna strength to offer her life in faithful witness. Help us to learn from her to cherish Your law and to obey You rather than men or women. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever.
Fr Bill McNichols 💮 March 2021