“But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” – John 19:25
The original Stabat Mater Prayer Apostolate (SMPA) emerged in 2008 after years of prayerful conversation among friends in Dallas, Texas. We proposed that the images that bombard our present culture of death can change to more life-affirming ones if the creators of those images are offered prayerful support. We cited Saint John Paul II's Letter to Artists (1999) as the fundamental document that explains why artists are so important to society.
In the years since 2008, SMPA expanded to a worldwide online network of prayer united in the desire to effect cultural change. And in the summer of 2020, SMPA blossomed into the Stabat Mater Art Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to amplify the Apostolate's work in concrete ways.
Visionaries that they are, we believe fine artists can help lead the way back to love of God and to a Christian civilization grounded in faith, hope, and love. But they need practical support.
"Stabat Mater" signifies Our Lady Standing at the Cross (literally from the Latin, "the Mother was standing"). This phrase evolved in the first centuries of the Christian Church to describe the posture of Mary, the mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as she witnessed the execution of her son on the cross. She did not cower and she did not flee. She stood there and remained standing, faithful to the end.
The name Stabat Mater was chosen because of the example of fidelity given by Mary. Being faithful to one's calling is challenging, no matter what that calling may be. Artists particularly can experience personal hardship as a result of their vocation and therefore need our prayers and support.