Nicholas Pumper Art

St Monica, Full of Hope

“People who have hope live differently.”

Acrylic on Canvas Board


September 2020

Every Sunday, there’s a list of people I pray for. Choosing hope is sometimes heartbreaking, but it is necessary, and we see that in the life of St Monica. She prayed for years for the conversion of her son, and Augustine became one of the most well known saints in the Church.

In this composition, I tried to balance an beautiful seaside view and bright colors with a feeling of claustrophobia. St Monica’s robe is heavy and bundled up, and her limbs are long and thin. The sunset over the cliff is a beautiful view, but heavy clouds and stark shadows hang over the scene. It is through these that I am evoking the endurance of keeping hope alive.

It ended well for St Monica, but we often forget what St Monica endured for her son. Nihilism is easy, but hope is hard. Especially hope for other people. But keeping a fire of hope for others is to admit that your life’s meaning isn’t for yourself. 

To quote Auschwitz prisoner, Viktor Frankl: “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”