Light of the Guardian [Painting Process]

Light of the Guardian [Painting Process]

My Consecration Prayer

January 16, 2022, was the 1 year anniversary of my entry into Opus Angelorum. It was a big moment in my journey with the angels that have played an important role in my life. I began my official year-long preparation at a silent retreat in Oceanside, CA in August 2019, and I was scheduled to return there in 2020 to finish the process. Unfortunately, the pandemic changed those plans, but I finally got to do it in Buda, TX when a representative from the order came to the area.

I have intentionally chosen angels as a central or supporting figure in the majority of my paintings over the last few years and wanted to do a piece specifically on a guardian angel in honor of this big event.

I decided to paint this angel with an indigenous-Mexican appearance. I intentionally paint Latino-focused characters and was inspired by the Matachines that I love to see dance for the celebrations of December 12th. Like most Mexicans, my bloodline is mixed from many different cultures, and the indigenous celebrations are ones that viscerally speak to my heart.

Symbols of the Painting

“Enlighten my mind and heart…”

(From the Prayer of Consecration to the Guardian Angel)

The Light

“Enlighten my mind and heart,” is my favorite line from the angel consecration prayer as we asked the angels to increase their influence in our lives. The light is the force the angel bears as he approaches in the midst of darkness around.

From the Consecration Ceremony Jan 16, 2021

The Movement

The angel is posed mid-jump and dance, similar to the dance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Tilma. He celebrates the inspiration he offers as a co-worker in life. His gesture is offering the gift and emerging from the darkness as he approaches in peace. His arm is also about to take action and the viewer can choose their interpretation of what the angel is about to do.

The Patterns

The patterns of dots of light and on the staff are reminiscent of many indigenous styles while not belonging to any one culture. It intentionally breaks a traditional style of European patterns in religious art.

In the studio

The Process

The Painting

“Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared”

Exodus 23:20

Luz del Guardian


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You Have Seen the Father Painting

You Have Seen the Father Painting

Has Visto al Padre (You Have Seen the Father) 48×36 inches oil on canvas painting.

I had the first idea for this painting back in June 2016 when going to a funeral. I drew out some concepts focused on the theme of the Trinity through the approach of Spanish colonial art that represents the Holy Trinity as 3 unique Jesus characters since Christians believe that it is indeed 3 distinct persons in 1 being. 

This is not a liturgical or even traditional piece. It’s a product of my own exploratory visualization of a central mystery of my faith.

Spanish Colonial Painting of the Trinity


It may seem a little strange but there is a verse in sacred scripture that gives good precedent for this interpretation:

“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” – John 14:9

I became fascinated with visualizing the Trinity back in late 2015 when I attended a JPII Healing Center retreat that focuses on leading participants to lead a life within the graces of the Trinity where we can find the most peace in life. The retreat features a living sculpture that demonstrates three people circling their arms around each other while surrounding the person from above. I used this as the central pose of the piece. Framing it from the perspective within the circle.

Final Drawing in prep of painting


All-Seeing Eye of God And and angels at Basilica Di Santa Maria Maggiore Rome Italy

The trinity is a common theme in art, but I’ve never been fond of the pieces that make the Father a Santa-like figure or the Holy Spirit just a white dove. They don’t communicate to me the depth of the living persons of the Trinity.

The mysterious symbols of an all-seeing eye also don’t communicate the relational aspects of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to me. I do appreciate the symbolism and visual, so I used this piece as an inspiration for the layout.

The old Eastern depictions of the Trinity as angels with Abraham also helped inspire the details of the three.

The Icon of the Trinity by the Monk-painter Andrei Rublev


Seraphim – the 6-winged angels that surround the throne of God

Cherubim – the 4 winged angels and are just behind the seraphim

The hands

The Father – A hand of blessing in the traditional priestly position of blessing

The Son – Outstretched and pierced by the crucifixion openly offering His love

The Holy Spirit – Reaching out in welcome to invite us into the circle

The Eye of God Nebula – based on images from Hubble to show the vastness of God’s mercy while alluding to the Trinitarian symbol of the eye in a cosmic image

Space – reminiscent of the stars that line many churches as markings of sacred space

Eye of God Helix Nebula


The 3 persons of the Holy Trinity are intentionally depicted as distinct versions of Jesus from different cultures. Most of my art features skin tones and cultures that depict important figures in non-European characteristics to show the diversity of the Church and God’s willingness to relate to us where we are.


The process

It took a long time to get to the pieces because I kept putting it to the side and lots of life changes in between.

The Final Painting

2560 2047 Cristóbal Almanza
5 Ways You Can Show Gratitude to Your Guardian Angel

5 Ways You Can Show Gratitude to Your Guardian Angel

Since the moment of your conception, you are accompanied by a great spiritual being known as a guardian angel. Their mission is to guide and protect you and do everything they can to guide you to heaven. They are the faithful companions that have never left our side. It feels almost too incredible to be true.

October is a good time to focus on our guardian angels. It’s more than because the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels is October 2nd. Many of the feast days of this month feature saints with very strong relationships with their angels.

While the angels desire our good more than we can understand, they aren’t able to control us or force us to do anything we’re unwilling to do. It’s also up to us to listen and cooperate with them. There are several things you can do to build a relationship with your angel, but you can also do a few things to thank your angel too.

“We should show our affection for the angels, for one day they will be our co-heirs just as here below they are our guardians and trustees appointed and set over us by the Father.”

– St. Bernard of Clairvaux

The Lord’s angels are in perfect union with Him and are without sin, so they don’t feel a lack of anything without our gratitude. Our acknowledgment of their work is more of a benefit for us to build a better partnership. Here are some ways to say thank you to your angel.


1. Pray with your angel

Your angel constantly sees God while simultaneously watching over you. They are already praying for you and doing everything they can to help us be holier and more faithful to our baptismal call. When you pray with your angel, they join and enhance your personal prayer.


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