Paschal Candles 2012 – 2016

This was the first candle I painted, in 2012.

Before I started I painted the top of a tealight with a couple of coats of paint and varnish, left it to dry and then lit it to see whether the paint would burn safely. Fortunately it just melted.

The saints shown are the Lord and Mary Magdalene, Maximilian Kolbe, Cecilia, Agnus Dei and a wheatsheaf at the top, to allow space for the candle to burn down.

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Paschal candles 2013

These two candles were a matching pair because my Vicar had two churches; the difference was only the width of candle and the Patron for each candle; the BVM on one, and the Lord on the other. The close images show the saints on the BVM candle.

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St M t V


St S

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St Laurence, Cowley 2014

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St Margaret, Streatley, 2014

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Candles in preparation during Lent



St Laurence

With thanks to the St Laurence, Cowley website.





St Margaret, Streatley

Candle on theme of 14 Holy Helpers

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Paschal Candles 2016

20th Century saints

The theme for the St Laurence Paschal Candle for 2016 is 20th Century saints.



Martin Luther King, 1929 – 1968

Martin Luther King was a Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian and a leader of the African American Civil Rights movement. He advocated nonviolent civil disobedience in line with his Christian beliefs.

On August 28 1963 King delivered his most famous speech, ‘I have a dream’, which came to be regarded as one of the finest examples of American oratory.

In 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combatting racial inequality through non violence. In 1968 he was planning a national occupation of Washington DC, to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenessee. Just days later Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Edith Stein, 1891 – 1942

Also known as Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, Stein was a German Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism and became a Discalced Carmelite nun. She was the youngest of 11 children, and born on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

For much of 1915 Stein worked as a Red Cross volunteer, and in 1916 she received a doctorate of philosophy with a dissertation entitled ‘On the Problem with Empathy.’ She was baptised in 1922, and entered a monastery in 1933.

Stein was arrested on August 2 1942 and sent to Auschwitz, where she died in the gas chambers on August 9.

Archbishop Janani Jakiliya Luwum

Archbishop Luwum was a leading voice in criticism of the dictatorship of Idi Amin in Uganda. In 1977 ++ Luwum delivered a letter of protest to Amin, condemning arbitrary killings and disappearances. He was arrested on 16 February, and officially was killed the next day in a car crash, but when his body was returned to relatives it was riddled with bullets. Some reports say that Amin himself pulled the trigger, but there were no witnesses. The Archbishop left a widow and nine children.

Archbishop Luwum is commemorated on the front of Westminster Abbey.

Mother Teresa, 1910 – 1997

Born in Macedonia Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, which by 2012 had 4,500 sisters working in 133 countries.

In 1979 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. When she was given her award she was asked what we can do to promote world peace. She answered; ‘Go home and love your family.’

John XXIII, 1881 – 1963

Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli reigned as Pope from 1958 to 1963, and was popularly known as Good Pope John. His election was unexpected, and he surprised those who expected him to act as caretaker by calling the Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965). He died before it ended, in 1963. John was canonised on 27 April 2014.

Manche Masemola, 1913 – 1928

Manche is a South African Christian martyr. She attended classes for baptism against the wishes of her parents, and predicted that she would be baptised in her own blood.

She was murdered by her parents on February 4th 1928 and buried by a granite rock on a remote hillside. Her mother later converted to Christianity and was baptised in 1969.

Manche is commemorated on the front of Westminster Abbey.


The theme for the St Margaret, Streatley candle is

Desert Fathers and Mothers



After the Apostles these saints are some of the strongest in faith and provide a very strong foundation to the church. They were great monastics and theologians, and their lives are well worth discovering.

Anthony the Great, 251 – 356

St Anthony the Great, also known as Antony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Anthony of Thebes and the Father of all Monks.

Anthony was the first to go into the wilderness, in about AD 270.He endured supernatural temptation in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. In one temptation he saw a plate of silver coins in the sand ahead of him, which he ignored. It was followed by a plate of gold coins, which he threw into a fire. He prayed, ‘O Good Lord, who may escape these snares?’ and a voice replied, ‘Humility may escape them without more.’

Cuthbert Cross

The cross is once again the Cuthbert Cross, symbol of St Cuthbert, patron saint of everyone from Durham.

Syncletia of Alexandria, 270 – 350

Syncletia was a 4th Century Desert Mother who abandoned life in the city to live in a crypt with her younger sister. Her sayings are included with those of the desert fathers.

‘In the beginning there is a struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire: at first it is smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result.’

Macarius of Egypt, 300 – 391

Also known as Macarius the Elder, Macarius the Great, The Lamp of Egypt and The Prophet who Wore the Spirit.

Macarius of Egypt founded the monastery that bears his name, the Monastery of St Macarius the Great, which has been continuously inhabited since the fourth century. He was known for the gift of prophecy, but his greatest characteristic was Divine Power, which he called the Cherubim; this was the source of his strength, inspiration, good disposition and fearful power over evil spirits. Many fathers testified that his face used to glow in the dark, which is how he was given his name, ‘The Glowing Lantern.’

Mary of Egypt, 344 – 421

Mary is the patron saint of penitents. At the age of 12 she began 17 years of dissolute life in Alexandria. She then decided to go to Jerusalem, and funded her journey by very unorthodox means. Once there she tried to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but found her way barred by an invisible force. Realising her own impurity she repented and promised to give up the world, and was then able to enter.

The next day she received absolution and Holy Communion and then retired to live in the desert in penitence for the rest of her life. A year before her death she was found by St Zosimas of Palestine, almost completely naked. He gave her his cloak to wear, and she told him her life story. When he returned a year later he found her incorrupt body.

St Francis, 1181 – 1226

Not a desert father, St Francis nonetheless founded several religious orders and is one of our most venerated saints, with a very real dedication to following Christ in poverty and service to others. He had a mystical vision of Christ, which told him, ‘Francis, Francis, go and repair my house, which is falling into ruins.’

Theodora of Alexandria, died 491

Theodora was a married woman who was tricked into adultery by a fortune teller. Distraught at the sin she had committed she dressed as a man and entered a monastery to purify herself by work and prayer. She was afraid that if she entered a woman’s order her husband would find her. She amazed the other monks by her all night prayers, her humility, endurance and self denial.

The truth of her real identity was only found after she died. When her husband was told about her death he became a monk at the same monastery.




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