Watch

Making the Saints Come Alive through Modern Icons

Creator:
Published:
April 8, 2024
December 7, 2020
Meet the artist who paints modern saints who were alive centuries ago.

Gracie Morbitzer paints saints like you've never seen them before. With each carefully designed icon, she makes the saints come alive in a powerful, relatable way.

"I think what I really wanted to do was just show people that even now you can be a saint," Gracie shares. "No matter what you're really passionate about, you can use that thing for bringing goodness and love into the world."

Video Transcript

Meet Gracie: icon painter

(painted images of various saints)

Gracie Morbitzer: You know, the saints were really human and so much more relatable than we ever could realize. Sometimes it's really hard to do because either it was so long ago or they did such amazing things. So I think just having this way to try and connect people to those stories and to have them look more like them, so that it's more of a way that they can understand.

Gracie’s icons portray saints in a modern style while preserving their ethnicities.

(Gracie paints saint icon)

It was so fun and exciting to try and figure out — what can I pick out about this saint's story that reminds me of somebody that I know today? Or if they were living today, what would their lives be the equivalent of in the 2000s?

Trying to figure out what expression they would have based off of the majority of the things that happened to them or a very pivotal moment. Clothing based on whether it seems like they'd be a shyer, more reserved person or a very hardworking, business-type person.

Some of them are just always pictured with certain symbols — John the Baptist with a shell for baptism. So he has a tattoo in my version of the shell. St. Denis was beheaded and kept preaching while carrying his head, which is a very strange story. But for that reason, I put him in a turtleneck, not able to think of any other way to show that that wasn't disgusting (laughs).

I think what I really wanted to do was just show people that even now you can be a saint, I think whenever we picture saints they're always in robes.

No matter what you're really good at or no matter what you're really passionate about, you can use that thing for your faith and for bringing goodness and love into the world. We're going to need a saint of computer programming and we're going to need a saint of lacrosse and basketball. And so if those are the things that you're good at, then you can use those things also to make the world a better place.

(Pan over of Gracie’s artwork)

My website is just themodernsaints.com, all one word, no spaces. And then I also have prints available on Etsy, which is also just ‘The Modern Saints’ store.

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
April 8, 2024
December 7, 2020
On a related note...
What to Do if You Have No Friends

What to Do if You Have No Friends

Marye Colleen Larme

Half Helen Helps People See with Her Mobile Eye Clinic

Half Helen Helps People See with Her Mobile Eye Clinic

Grotto

Fall Into Fall With These 4 New Songs

Fall Into Fall With These 4 New Songs

Tanner Kalina

Entering the Convent at Age 23

Entering the Convent at Age 23

Grotto

Why Everyone Should Experience Handel's 'Messiah' at Christmas

Why Everyone Should Experience Handel's 'Messiah' at Christmas

Lisa Greey Lytwyn

How to Use Social Media to Advocate for Climate Change

How to Use Social Media to Advocate for Climate Change

Lauren Fritz

How to #FindYourGrotto and Why It Matters

How to #FindYourGrotto and Why It Matters

Grotto

St. Faustina Spotify Playlist | #GrottoMusic

St. Faustina Spotify Playlist | #GrottoMusic

Grotto

Meet the Woman Who Turned Her Restaurant Into a Food Pantry

Meet the Woman Who Turned Her Restaurant Into a Food Pantry

Grotto

Science and Faith Aren't Just Compatible — They're Inseparable

Science and Faith Aren't Just Compatible — They're Inseparable

Molly Cruitt

From Living on the Streets to Cleaning Them Up

From Living on the Streets to Cleaning Them Up

Grotto

Embracing Faith in the Midst of Doubt

Embracing Faith in the Midst of Doubt

David Liambee Gbe

Like most of us, David went through ups and downs in his faith life. For a time, he struggled with seeing God and religious figures as anything other than oppressive. While wrestling with these doubts, he encountered an example of profound faith — here’s how that experience changed his perspective.

The New Worlds She Found in Her Library

The New Worlds She Found in Her Library

Theresa Sullivan

5 Tips To Help You Not Hate Running

5 Tips To Help You Not Hate Running

Matt Paolelli

3 Easy Steps to Make Praying Out Loud Less Awkward

3 Easy Steps to Make Praying Out Loud Less Awkward

Lisa Greey Lytwyn

Why I Believe in “God Winks”

Why I Believe in “God Winks”

Mariah Cressy

Community Garden Feeds Neighborhood | Little Ways: Grow

Community Garden Feeds Neighborhood | Little Ways: Grow

Grotto

3 Tips for Learning from Your Mistakes

3 Tips for Learning from Your Mistakes

Matt Paolelli

6 Sustainable Gift Ideas for the Holidays

6 Sustainable Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Lauren Lawson

Music Programs for Kids with Special Needs

Music Programs for Kids with Special Needs

Grotto

newsletter

We’d love to be pals.

Sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll meet you in your inbox each week.