Efigie Verdadera del Beato Jose de Oriol
- unknown artist
Unknown artist, Efigie Verdadera del Beato Jose de Oriol, after 1806. Engraving; 4⅞ × 3¼ in. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2013.339.
José de Oriol was born in Spain in 1650 and received his doctorate in theology from the University of Barcelona in 1674. He was ordained two years later, and expressed interest in missionary work, but ultimately felt called to remain in Barcelona. Oriol was said to have prophetic and miraculous powers, which earned him the nickname Thaumagurgus of Barcelona (a thaumaturge is a miracle worker or magician). During his lifetime, Oriol effected miraculous cures on the afflicted and even raised the dead. He also ministered to the sick and dying and distributed his money to the poor. He was renowned during his lifetime for his humility and ascetic lifestyle. Oriol was beatified in 1806, meaning that this print likely dates from shortly after. In 1909 Oriol was elevated to sainthood by Pope Pius X.
Though Oriol never traveled to the Americas, he achieved some degree of popularity in Mexico, where this print originates. Oriol is depicted here curing a lame man named Vergant through the laying on of hands and recitation of a Bible verse: “they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16:18). Another version of the image was published in a novena dedicated to Oriol in 1822.
– Kathryn Santner, Frederick and Jan Mayer Fellow of Spanish Colonial Art, 2022
- Exhibited, 2007, Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO.