Julia Holcomb offers two stunning paintings to be auctioned at LifeSiteNews’ gala
Note: Julia has provided a second painting, Fetal Sacred Heart, since this article was originally posted on April 4. See photo below and larger photo here.
April 4, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - What does beautiful art have to do with the pro-life movement? Plenty, if you are Julia Holcomb, former girlfriend of rockstar Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.
“Art plays a very important role in the culture of life,” said Holcomb to LifeSiteNews.
“The culture of life is under attack. All around us is a culture of death that is pushed on us. It’s really evident when you study sociology and see the ideas of contraception, abortion, divorce, and homosexuality being forced on our culture through mass media. Art is a kind of antidote to that mass media, especially high art in the classical realistic style.”
Julia was 17 when she found herself 5 months pregnant with Tyler’s first child. At that time she was engaged to marry him. One day, while Tyler was touring with his band, their apartment caught fire and Julia barely survived. While in the hospital recovering from smoke inhalation, she was coerced into a horrific saline abortion. (Find more about Holcomb’s relationship with Tyler and the traumatic abortion here.)
The now-Catholic wife and mother of 7 children has continued her love of painting ever since her high school years. She recently finished a course at the Toronto Academy of Realist Art and has plans to spend 6 weeks this summer in Florence at the prestigious Michael John Angel Academy.
Holcomb’s latest stunning work is Our Lady of the Roses, a piece that will be auctioned at the upcoming gala dinner for LifeSiteNews (LSN), which is celebrating 15 years of covering the stories that define the pro-life, pro-family movements worldwide.
Our Lady of the Roses immediately strikes the viewer as a work of genuine artistry for its beautiful and deeply symbolic meaning. The medium is oil on linen and measures 24 by 30 inches.
The beautiful Virgin Mother wrapped in a stunning ultramarine robe holds the Christ child in her arm, fixing her eyes reverently on him as the cause of her joy. She holds a red rose in her left hand.
Christ, about age 5, gazes invitingly towards the viewer. He reaches out to embrace the rose, which is symbolic of his life and his passion. The gesture of the young child suggests his intention to share the rose with the viewer.
The viewer may be delighted to discover an awakening desire to share in the joy of the intimate communion between the holy mother and her child. All the viewer must do is accept the rose.
Holcomb told LSN that she has a “special love for Our Lady” and that she felt that it would be appropriate to paint a Marian icon for the April 28 gala dinner in Washington that she and her husband Brad will attend.
Our Lady of the Roses was painted in the tradition of eastern iconography. The halos around the virgin and child are leafed in 24 carat gold. Holcomb painted the image in an atmosphere of silence, prayer, and contemplation. The symbols masterfully woven into the image were chosen for their Catholic meaning in the tradition of the icon.
Holcomb explained the meaning behind the symbols to LSN.
The rose is a universal symbol of Mary and Jesus. “The bloom specifically refers to Christ as the rose of Sharon while Mary is the stem from which the bloom bursts forth,” she said.
The painting’s background consists in a pattern of sweetbriar roses. The five petals of the Sweetbriar are symbolic of the five wounds of Christ.
A magnificent peacock at the top left of the painting dually signifies the Holy Spirit and the human soul adorned with the fruits of the Spirit.
A vibrant pomegranate on the bottom right symbolizes Mary’s fruitfulness while an embellished M on the bottoms left is a monogram of the first letter of her name.
A small angel on the top right of the painting reminds the viewer of the mystery of the Annunciation and the Incarnation.
“Painting is something that inspires me,” said Holcomb. “When we present an idea in image form, we can take it all in at a glance. A picture paints a thousand words. Iconic language is something we understand at a subconscious level.”
Holcomb believes that art is “very powerful” at conveying spiritual truth. It is one of the main reasons she loves to paint.
“I think that art is a very silent contemplative way of communicating to people a spiritual vision,” she said.
Holcomb executed a similar painting recently for the benefit of her son’s law school that was auctioned for $10,000.
Julia Holcomb’s magnificent Our Lady of the Roses will be included with a number of other works by notable pro-life artists to be auctioned at the April 29 Gala.
Find out more about LifeSiteNews’ Gala Celebration.
See official list of distinguished pro-life leaders who have committed to attend the event.
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
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UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
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Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.