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4 March, 2011

Sister Marie Paul revisits The Icons housed in De La Salle Hall

Marie PaulBethlehem University had the pleasure of welcoming back Sister Marie Paul Farran, OSB from the Benedictine monastery on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem responsible for writing, as is called in iconography, the three icons that watch over students and employees that walk the hall. Protected and showcased by three thick panes of glass, the icons shine as an artistic manifestation of inspirational aspects of the Lasallian heritage of Bethlehem University. Sister Marie was accompanied by Sister Gabrielle and Sister Marie Benedicte, who was instrumental in translating for Sister Marie during the laborious process of writing the icons. The triptych was dedicated in August of 2010.

Marie PaulThis triptych, a work of art divided into three sections, depics three scenes. The left panel represents John Baptist De La Salle, who was invited to become involved in schools and the training of teachers through Adrien Nyel, a layman who was dedicated to the education of poor boys in France. Today, laypeople comprise the majority of Lasallian educators.  The left panel of this triptych shows the encounter of John Baptist De La Salle with Adrien Nyel.

The center panel is a copy of the famous Holy Trinity icon of the great Russian painter and Orthodox Saint Andrei Rublev, reminding us of what God asks of all involved in the Lasallian tradition of Bethlehem University, to have a union of mind and heart so as to inspire God’s love in the hearts of the students, inspiring them to good works and holiness in their lives.

Marie PaulThe right panel of this triptych portrays the parents of Jesus, the Holy Family, models for Lasallian educators. The faith-filled Mary, the Blessed Mother, bore Jesus in her womb and brought the Incarnate Word into the world. Saint Joseph is the man who was entrusted with the care of a child who was not his own, “was just, …submissive to God’s orders, …and had a very special solicitude for the education and protection of Jesus Christ.

The star of Bethlehem atop the two side panels, represents the light that dispels darkness that came into the world with the birth of Jesus here in Bethlehem, a light that continues to dispel the darkness of ignorance through the mission of Bethlehem University. We thank Sister Marie and Sister Marie Benedicte for their beautiful efforts, the results of which we enjoy daily. We also again thank the following for their devotion of time and resources:

  • De La Salle Brothers, New Zealand
  • Brigidine Sisters, New Zealand
  • Assumptionist Fathers, New Zealand
  • Brother Ambrose Payne


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine