When dealing with a comprehensive project such as this one, it is necessary to consider many aspects in order to face the design, choose the right medium or decide the appropriate iconography. It is therefore important to study the available room, the architectural style of the building, understand the use that is intended for the space or analyze the kind and amount of light sources. In this case, the main goal was to produce an environment that helped to pray. The chapel was meant to be dedicated to sacramental adoration and it would be open many hours a day. The place had to be specially warm, it should produce in the visitor the same reaction saint Peter had: Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents (Mc 9,5).

The tabernacle would be situated in the centre of the chapel, we all agreed on that. Everything we built around it had to help the praying visitors to keep their attention on it. To achieve this, our first decision was to choose a topic that did not imply a relevant human presence because our gazes tend naturally to focus on faces, which can be a cause of distraction. That is why we chose a Eucharistic and Christological theme that also involved plant motifs: the Tree of Life. Next, I Will explain the intentions that moved me to choose the iconographic program and its symbolism.


«A virgin, wood and death were the symbols of our defeat (…) But behold, a virgin, wood and death became the symbols of our victory. For instead of Eve, we have Mary; instead of the tree of knowledge of Good and evil, we have the tree of the Cross; instead of Adam’s death, we have Chrit’s death.»
These words of Saint John Chrysostom, patron of the parish, are the review of the mural’s meaning, which is centered in the eucharistic presence of our Lord.

Meaning of the tree:
We first see the tree that extends its branches and gives shelter to the tabernacle, it evokes the image of the tree of Jesse (Is 11: 1-16). The tree of the Paradise is also a sign of the tree of the Cross. The hymn Oh crux fidelis refers to the Cross as a tree, and the response of the office of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross says: «This is the most worthy tree, placed in the middle of paradise, in which the author of our health, by his own death, overcame the death of all». The tree of life was the image of Jesuschrist, true tree, that in the tree of the Cross becomes the source of new life. The book of Revelation says: «the tree of life produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month; the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.» (Rv 22:2) that is, it is always fruitful. The tree is then a symbol of Jesus himself, who at the same time is truly present at the tabernacle. The blue hue of the leaves, apart from having an aesthetic purpose, tries to symbolise the life that sprouts from the sap that flows through the tree.

Meaning of the fruits:
From the tree of the Cross a new fruit has sprung, the Eucharist, that gives eternal life to the ones that nourish from it. That is why the tabernacle is in the centre of the tree, so that it points at the source where the new life emerges. All the branches of the tree have their origin at the same point, right where the Holy Host is located at the exhibitor tabernacle. The entire composition is designed so that our eyes go to the tabernacle again and again.

It is the fruit that allows us to overcome death and achieve eternal bliss. That is why the mural also is image of the heavenly banquet that God has promised us: «To the victor I will give the right to eat from the tree of life that is in the garden of God."'» (Rv 2:7). «Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life» (Rv 22,14). By worshiping and eating the new eucharistic fruit we are transformed to participate in the life of Jesus Christ. United to Him, like the branch to the vine (cf. Jn 15: 1-17), thanks to the gift of the Spirit, we receive the same Love of God that makes us capable of living the Lord's mercy and thus being a Eucharistic gift for the others, especially for the poor and suffering. This new life, whose soul is charity, is the life of the Spirit symbolized by the seven fruits, signs of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Meaning of the birds: In Christian iconography, birds come to symbolize the blessed, the immense crowd of the vision of Saint John in the Revelation, destined to taste the fruits of the tree of life (Rv 7: 9-17). They are the saints who have allowed themselves to be transformed by this holy fruit and have lived a life of charity with a "Eucharistic form." The birds are twelve alluding to the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles, a sign of the new people of God, the Church.
In Christian iconography, birds come to symbolize the blessed, the immense crowd of the vision of Saint John in the Revelation, destined to taste the fruits of the tree of life (Rv 7: 9-17). They are the saints who have allowed themselves to be transformed by this holy fruit and have lived a life of charity with a "Eucharistic form." The birds are twelve alluding to the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles, a sign of the new people of God, the Church.


The whole set has as its thematic unit in what the Incarnation of the Lord has meant for mankind. For this reason, we find at the extremes the figure of the Holy Spirit on the left, and of the Virgin Mary on the right, alluding specifically to the account of the Annunciation (Lk 1,26-38). Through Mary's "be made" "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1,14), this is the moment that the mural seeks to collect, Mary appears in profile, gathered in prayer, the Holy Spirit comes out to meet her. In the middle is the fruit of this event: Christ himself.

«In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.» (CCE 1374).

The scene also evokes our first parents who, eating from the tree in paradise, broke communion with God (Gen 3,1-24). By saying yes, Mary becomes the new Eve who with her obedience unties the knot of disobedience of the first sin. The humility of Mary is an invitation to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit so that Jesus Christ "forms himself" in us: "we are transformed into his image with increasing radiance, by the action of the Spirit of the Lord" (2Cor 3, 18).

We also contemplate Our Mother adoring her Son present in the Eucharist with her face full of sweetness and serenity. Once again, the composition is designed so that our eyes do not wander elsewhere for a long time, but rather, the face of the Virgin herself, looking towards the tabernacle, makes us look away from herself to her Son. With Mary we learn to find in Eucharistic Adoration the peace and joy that come from the Lord and to renew our hope to continue walking in fidelity. We ask the Virgin to teach us to adore as she does: desiring, seeking, listening and looking at Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.



It is a summary of the entire Mural. On the doors of the Tabernacle, Jesus Christ and the crowned Virgin Mary are represented framed by the text "Come, my chosen one and I will sit you on my throne" which refers to the Song of Songs (cf. Ct 2,10; 4,8).
As in the mosaic of the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the set represents the Covenant that Jesus Christ the Bridegroom has made with the Church. Mary is the Sponsa Verbi that represents the Church called to respond to the Bridegroom with the love, fidelity and purity of Mary. The phrase "your children like olive shoots around your table" (Ps 128,3) refers to the fruitfulness that the Lord grants to the Church to engender the children of God through Baptism and nourish them with the Eucharistic gift.

In the same way that Eve was born from the side of Adam (Gen 2,22), from the open Heart of Christ in the tree of the Cross, the Church, the Bride, is born. In the words of Saint John Chrysostom himself:

«it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam.” For this same reason, affirms Saint Paul: We are members of his body, formed from his bones, alluding to the side of Christ. For in the same way that he made the woman from Adam's side, in the same way Jesus Christ gave us the water and the blood that came from his side to build the Church. And in the same way that God then took Adam's rib, while he slept, he also gave us the water and the blood after Christ had died. See how Christ has united himself with his wife, consider what food he nourishes her with. We were born with the same food and we feed ourselves ”. The Eucharist is the "spousal sacrament", "the sacrament of the Bridegroom, of the Bride.»

The love of Christ "reaches its culminating point on the Cross, the expression of his "nuptials” with humanity and, at the same time, the origin and center of the Eucharist". That is why Eucharistic Adoration reminds us that we are part of Jesus Christ who offers us a Love that never runs out because his mercy and fidelity are eternal.