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Mother Mary oil painting catholic art christian art lilah marie mother and child

Lilah Marie Patti

2/2/22 - 2/2/22

Lilah returned home after 2 precious hours with her family.  


Her siblings still take turns happily picking and bringing her flowers.



It’s times like these when the brush expresses what my words cannot…


“So I’ll speak of things I do not understand, 
things too marvelous for me, which I do not know…”


    How light dances on the edge of shadow,

    How color is found in gray.

    How joy wells up the midst of great loss.

    How night turns into day.


It has been a blessing for me to witness the joy that Lilah's family carries in their hearts. They are not without sorrow, but think of her with a beaming heart and a bright light in their eyes, rejoicing that Lilah has triumphed over death through Jesus. 


"In all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."


This painting joyfully celebrates the life of Lilah Marie Patti: her life on earth as well as her life with God eternal. She is held in the arms of Mary, who tenderly remembers her own son, and contemplates his divine mercy. 


I look forward to meeting her one day. 


   ~ Daniel Folta



Please read this note from Lilah's mother:


"I’m very thankful that Dan has given me the opportunity to share my perspective on the inspiration for this beautiful work of art. Sharing Lilah’s life— the miraculous time she spent on earth with us and her triumphant entrance into eternal life— brings so much joy to our family, and our witness to her miraculous life remains deeply important for us to share. Our deepest joy and peace was found in our deepest suffering, because it is there where we felt, and continue to feel, God’s warm embrace and receive tremendous grace.


Due to a rare condition called thanatophoric dysplasia, if Lilah were able to be born alive, her life here was anticipated to be just minutes. In God’s mercy, we — her mother, father, three big brothers and older sister — received more. Her father and I were given time to have her Baptized, to feel the warmth of her body, and to hear her beautiful voice we were told would never sound. Before she had fallen asleep in Christ, our children were given time to hold Lilah and create memories with her. We were given a sacred moment in time where every detail is forever etched in our minds and hearts. 


Every Sunday since her passing, our family has visited and brought flowers to her body’s resting place. Lilah’s three big brothers take turns in choosing flowers for her— something in which they take great care. It is our way of honoring and taking care of her body left behind as her soul joined in full communion with Jesus, and His Church Triumphant of angels and the saints.


Lilah entered and left this world quietly, only sharing her gentle cries with those in a small hospital room. However, her impact and purpose is loud and it is clear. Lilah’s life has been shared through the words of innocent children, deepening others’ faith in God’s eternal promises. Lilah’s intercession to our Lord, Jesus, has been prayed for with miracles then realized. Her life is a testament to the value of all life— how even the smallest and most vulnerable soul can change the world. 

At her death, the vision of Lilah leaving my arms for the tender embrace of our Mother Mary was overwhelming. How amazing to picture the mother of our Lord Jesus, whose arms embraced Him in His life and death, now cradling our daughter.  I struggle for the right words to express how thankful I am to Dan for his beautiful creation. It is impossible to fathom the true perfection of such a moment in Heaven, but I firmly believe his depiction is as close as our earthly selves can ever get. Through the thin veil between Heaven and Earth, his brush was guided. This will be cherished our whole lives through and I am so deeply grateful. 


Please share this image and Lilah’s testimony far and wide, for the world to come to know God’s divine mercy; the love of our blessed Mother Mary; and the miraculous life of our precious darling daughter, Lilah Marie."


    ~ Monica Patti

    Mother of Lilah Marie Patti



This painting was commissioned by Olivia and her husband Thomas Benson, as a surprise gift for her sister Monica Patti for Mother's Day:


"The idea for this painting began with my search for a simple “thank you” gift for my sister. Just when I was ready to settle on another gift-card, a name I knew in college popped into my mind – along with the image of Lilah, Mary, and flowers. After meeting with Dan, I was filled with confidence that this painting was meant to be. Out of reverence for Monica and Jason’s great trust in Christ’s promise of eternal life for their daughter, it was clear that this work could only be entrusted to a man of faith. I am amazed at God’s infinite grasp on the details of our lives, using a distant acquaintance from years ago to bring about a deeply personal, beautiful, and treasured gift during a time when words fail.


It has been a privilege to witness the tremendous outpouring of grace God has bestowed on Monica and Jason through the gift of their daughter, Lilah Marie Patti. I wanted this painting to capture their great hope in Christ’s resurrection and triumph over death. God has truly “lifted up the lowly” in Lilah (and Mary!). The world saw Lilah as little and meek, yet the King sees fit to have his own Mother lovingly tend to her. “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age.”


Many heartfelt thanks to Daniel Folta, for not only his artistic skill, but for “being the right person” for this work  through his profound witness to faith and love of Jesus Christ."


    ~ Olivia Benson
    Aunt of Lilah Marie Patti



Lilah Marie Patti

Born to Earth 2/2/22 at 7:08AM

Born to Eternal Life 2/2/22 at 9:00AM

Mary & Lilah Painting Lilah Note.jpg
Mary & Lilah Painting frontpage.jpg

The Canticle of Mary

Luke 1:46 - 55 NABRE

“My soul proclaims the greatness of

    the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my savior.


For he has looked upon
    his handmaid’s lowliness;

behold, from now on will all ages

    call me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great

    things for me,

and holy is his name.

His mercy is from age to age

    to those who fear him.

He has shown might with his arm,

dispersed the arrogant of mind and


He has thrown down the rulers

    from their thrones

but lifted up the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good


the rich he has sent away empty.

He has helped Israel his servant,

remembering his mercy,

according to his promise to our


to Abraham and to his descendants


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