Special to the Village News
It was more than a year ago when Mass was held outside at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Parish in Fallbrook when a mask-wearing parishioner stared at the plain off-white wall on the outside of the old church overlooking the patio outside the hall and the new church building.
The man – who wishes to remain anonymous – recalled another church, Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Corona, where he saw a beautiful mural of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The parishioner asked the Fallbrook priest, Fr. Arturo Uribe, for permission to solicit a mural for the local church.
The artist who painted the mural in Corona, Antonio Martinez Guzman, is from Mexico and was willing to volunteer his talent, according to the artist's spokesman, Raul Lopez.
On April 28, the artist and his son, Sandro Martinez, began working on the wall at St. Peter's. The mural measures 21 feet tall by 43 feet wide and has several significant scenes from the Bible, and should be finished this week, Lopez said.
The father and son have been working daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to the joy of parishioners.
"People come to Mass and see the changes every day," Uribe said. "It's very beautiful and the parishioners have pride in the work."
The once-plain wall features multiple biblical scenes including the birth of Jesus, His baptism, the last supper, going to the cross, and being taken to the tomb.
The artist and his son are from Arandas Jalisco, Mexico. Lopez noted that where they come from is important because they are proud of where they were born.
"Antonio Martinez Guzman is a very talented artist," Lopez said. "He studied at the University of Granada in Spain and is well known in Mexico."
The mural is the artist's own concept, Lopez added.
Uribe said he was unsure when there would be an open house or dedication of the mural.