Frames and Stretchers feels blessed that we got to frame this beautiful portrait of the Pope by political prisoner Oscar Lopez. The painting was hand delivered to the Pope by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito in The East Harlem.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito used her audience with Pope Francis to highlight the cause of jailed Puerto Rican dissident Oscar Lopez Rivera. Mark-Viverito gave Francis a painting of him by Rivera, a controversial figure who is imprisoned for his role with the Puerto Rican independence group FALN, and whose release she had long supported."Oscar has told me he is encouraged by @Pontifex message of reconciliation, building bridges & dialogue as a way of overcoming hostilities," she wrote on Twitter. Mark-Viverito said she has visited Rivera in prison three times this year."#OscarLopezRivera painted the @Pontifex as a gift to #HisHoliness even before he found out about his visit to the United States," she tweeted. "It was discussed & I agreed that I would attempt to present the painting as a gift to @Pontifex during his visit. Today was that moment." She said she presented the painting after meeting the pope at his visit to a Catholic school in her East Harlem district."@Pontifex more than gracious w/ his time, his interest piqued when I shared that gift was from a prisoner I visited in jail," she wrote. "@Pontifex asked if I still visited. Said yes. Asked me to thank him. Said I would. As we parted, I asked for a prayer for Oscar." Daily News New York