NEW MEXICO TRIPTYCH
By Fray Angélico Chávez
Three stories set in the American Southwest with illustrations by the author.
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A gentle wood carver whose santos are stolen; an old hunchback who, with the help of Our Lady, comes into her own; a horse thief innocent of wrong intents—theirs are the stories that Fray Angélico paints, framing them with exquisite art in the manner of the medieval triptych. Born and bred in the land of sunshine and silence, Fray Angélico Chávez has a threefold heritage and a threefold gift. Heir to the artistic tradition of Spanish New Mexico, steeped in the spirit of Franciscan mysticism, and word-perfect in the folklore of the adobe village, he interprets the ageless spirit of his people in story, poetry and painting.
Fray Angélico Chávez, in the decades following his ordination as a Franciscan priest in 1937, performed the difficult duties of an isolated backcountry pastor. His assignments included Hispanic villages and Indian pueblos. As an army chaplain in World War II, he accompanied troops in bloody landings on Pacific islands, claiming afterwards that because of his small stature, Japanese bullets always missed him. In time, despite heavy clerical duties, Fray Angélico managed to become an author of note, as well as something of an artist and muralist. Upon all of his endeavors, one finds, understandably, the imprint of his religious perspective. During nearly seventy years of writing, he published almost two dozen books. Among them were novels, essays, poetry, biographies, and histories, some of which are published by Sunstone Press.
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