Catholics who followed Mass with a missalette have held the art of Ade Bethune in their hands.
An artist who knew faith and beauty, Marie Adélaïde de Bethune (1914-2002) was born in Schaerbeek, Belgium and touched the world with her art.
"Art," explained sculptor Frederick E. Hart, "must touch our lives, our fears and cares; evoke our dreams and give hope to the darkness."
Giving hope with simple beauty, Bethune's passionate black and white liturgical prints were published in The Catholic Worker newspaper for over 60 years.
After emigrating to New York in 1928, Bethune created simple, yet powerful woodcut-looking prints that caught the eye of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin of the Catholic Worker movement, which was "committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken."
Bethune's illustrations of My Sunday Missal in 1937 and My Lenten Missal in 1942 captured the strengh, purity, and honesty of faith. A sculptor, mosaic artist, and wood carver, she help design St. Leo’s octagon-shaped church in St. Paul, Minnesota (1970). This design renewed the classic tradition of the center altar.
"I went back to being an amateur, in the sense of somebody who loves what she is doing. If a professional loses the love of work, routine sets in, and that's the death of work and life."
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