A LOCHINVAR woman who painted a picture of Pope John Paul II surrounded by the children of the world would have been thrilled he has become a saint, her sisters have revealed.
The late Hedda Enderle, of St Helena at Lochinvar, painted the Pope surrounded by children of different nationalities in 1979.
The work now belongs to the Vatican and travels around raising money for children living in poverty.
The three-metre by 1.2-metre work is titled My Heart Belongs to the Children of the World and took one year to complete.
Marika and Elizabeth Enderle said their sister thought Pope John Paul II, who was canonised with Pope John XXIII in a historic ceremony in the Vatican City last month, was a good person who would make a difference in the world.
Hedda’s painting was the first that featured the pope with other people.
‘‘She thought the pope was something special, that he was a good person and would be good for the world,’’ Marika said.
‘‘She would have said ‘I told you so, he is a good one’ if she had heard about him becoming a saint because she thought he was a saint on earth.’’
Hedda and her sisters travelled to the Vatican City in 1980 so she could meet the Pope and present him with the artwork.
It was an experience she relished until her death at age 53, of ovarian cancer on Mother’s Day in 1998.
She was working on a painting of herself with her sisters before she died, and it still stands on the easel in her studio.
Hedda started painting as a young child and has created a variety of works including a picture of Jesus Christ that hangs in the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Glendale.