ABOUT THE RETABLO “SAN ANTONIO DE FAUCI”
The definition of “saint” is a person who loves God with his/her whole heart and spends his/her life serving Him by unselfishly serving the needs of others.
Geriatrician and Hospice Doctor Marie Luz Villa of Friday Harbor, WA, points out that these are the exact attributes that qualify Dr. Anthony Fauci as a heretofore unacclaimed modern-day saint. He shows his love of God and his respect for all of God’s people when he listens to their needs. For his entire professional life, Dr. Fauci has sought out the most forgotten of these people and made it his personal mandate to discover ways to alleviate their suffering. He humbly balances science with sensitivity to human beliefs and frailty.
In an effort to commemorate the incredible work undertaken by Dr. Fauci to help this country navigate the current COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Villa enlisted her mother, New Mexico santera Clare Cresap Villa, to create a retablo of “San Antonio de Fauci”. It is with deep appreciation that this image was developed to acknowledge someone who fulfills our Christian mandate to follow in Christ’s footsteps, sometimes at great personal cost, in the best tradition of sainthood. ¡Le demos gracias!
Dr. Fauci is depicted standing barefoot atop the world, showing his humble approach to global concerns. The red border is a nod to his work with blood disorders, and the small window an acknowledgment of his advice to stay indoors. The wood window frame resembles a cross on a hillside, a subtle nod to his deep Christian beliefs.
His white cloak (lab coat) demonstrates purity of intent, with pens in the left breast pocket symbolizing his heart’s dedication to taking note of others’ needs; the larger pockets are empty, showing that he brings no baggage to any encounter.
He holds in his right hand the staff of Asclepius, symbolizing his commitment to medical ethics and the oath to help the sick while maintaining medical confidentially and practicing non- maleficence. His left hand holds the scales of justice, balancing evidence (science) and emotion (societal concerns).
His head is surrounded by a nimbus of microorganisms, representing his lifelong work in mitigating human suffering caused by infectious organisms.
Finally, his pant legs are rolled up to represent his willingness to work “in the trenches”.