Charlotte artist Chas Fagan, a parishioner of St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC, had only four months to paint what became the official portrait of Mother Teresa for her sainthood ceremony last September in Rome. His 22-inch by 28-inch portrait was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus. Chas wanted the portrait to be as authentic as possible, so he visited the nuns in Mother Teresa’s religious order who live and work in Charlotte to accurately depict the sari worn by the newly canonized saint.
A vinyl reproduction of Fagan’s portrait was the central image in a large tapestry which hung from the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica, above the square where Pope Francis celebrated Mass. "The Vatican and those promoting the cause of Mother Teresa’s sainthood liked Fagan’s painting so much," said Knights of Columbus spokesman Joe Cullen, "that they decided it should be the official canonization portrait." The group printed over 1 million prayer cards bearing Fagan’s work.
On January 27, Chas presented a framed copy of the portrait to Fr. Jim Shea, SJ, pastor at St Peter Catholic Church along with prayer cards from the canonization ceremony. Fr. Shea is discerning the most appropriate placement of the portrait in order for the entire community to appreciate the image.Another St. Peter parishioner, Tim Funk, wrote an article in the Charlotte Observer a few days before the ceremony in Rome about Chas Fagan and the making of the portrait.