Prophecy Designs exhibited and share the joy and beauty of the Lord through Iconography at the ‘Catholic Answers Conference’ on Faith and Science in San Diego, California on September 27-30, 2018

Prophecy Designs exhibited and share the joy and beauty of the Lord through Iconography at the ‘Catholic Answers Conference’ on Faith and Science in San Diego, California on September 27-30, 2018.  Photos of Cardinal BurkeStar at the Catholic Answers National Conference.  The Cardinal blessed Kristina’s Iconography of Life Icon on September 30.  The Icon was carried at the 45th Annual, March for Life in Washington, D.C. January 19, 2018.


Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta {hospitaller – charitable religious order}.  Raymond Leo Burke was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 30, 1948.  He attended high school at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wisconsin before attending the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC as a Basselin Scholar. {A scholarship program established by Theodore Basselin 1851-1914,  a lumber magnate who created at the Theological College at Catholic University of America for Philosophical Education}. He undertook his studies in preparation for ordination of the holy priesthood at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Roma and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975.  Ordained a bishop in 1995 by Pope St John Paul II he served for almost nine years as bishop of La Crosse where he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  On December 2, 2003 Bishop Burke was named archbishop of St. Louis.  From 2008-2014 he served as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome {Highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church except for the Pope}.  He was elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI  In November 2014 he was named Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta.  Cardinal Burke serves as a judge on the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and is currently a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.  He has also served on the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and the Council of Cardinals and Bishops of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.

Iconography Class September 2018

Iconography class yesterday was held at Kristina’s studio in Robbinsville, NJ.  Five Iconographers from the Paramus area, gathered for the day to continue work on the Icon of ‘The Theotokos, Our Lady of the Sign’.   This icon prototype is ancient, derived from the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah 7:14.  Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.  As early as the forth century this image of a woman praying with her palms uplifted, praying, was transformed in Christian art to the image of the Virgin Mary Orans (from orare meaning to pray).  Subsequently, in the 11th to the 14 centuries was widely used in churches throughout the east.  Over her heart is the image of Christ Emmanuel, to be shown in a transparent orb when completed, indicating the Trinity of God.  
After a light lunch of Broccoli Soup and Perogies, it was back to the studio to continue with this prayerful and beautiful work.  At the dining room table from left to right:  Kristina, Irina, Sandra, Sue, Joyce and Nathalie (standing).

Iconography of Life Icon Reflections

+ Glory to God now and forever!                

Reflections on The ICONOGRAPHY of LIFE Icon

Icon written by the hand of Kristina Maria Sadley –


Before I formed you, in the womb, I knew you; Before you were born I dedicated you (Jeremiah 1:5)

Truly you have formed my inmost being: You knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13)

God created man in His image, in His image He created him, male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27)

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love… (1 John 5:16)     

Blest are you among women; blest is the fruit of your womb (Luke 1:42)

Let my prayer come like incense before you; the lifting up my hands, like the evening sacrifice (Psalm 141:2)

And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the Angel’s hand (Rev.8:4)

Seraphim were stationed above; each had six wings; with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet and with two they hovered aloft.  Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! They cried one to the other.  ‘All the earth is filled with His glory!’  (Isaiah 6:2-3)  

For to his Angels he has given command about you, that they guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11)

Then God said: ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night…’  (Genesis 1:14-17)

Wise men saw the star in the east and came to worship (Matthew 2:1)

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him (1 John 5:16)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory:  The glory of an only Son coming from the Father filled with enduring love (John 1:14)

MP OY – Theotokos; Birth-giver of God.  Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God is depicted in ancient iconography with an outer (earthly) garment of deep, purple red wool; She who bore the Lamb of God.  The transparent image of Christ on Her garment indicates His Presence within Her womb.  (Luke 1:26-55) The blue of Her inner (heavenly) garment represents the inner light and purity of Her soul.

IC XC –  from the Greek letters meaning JESUS (IHCOYC) CHRIST (XPICTOC)

Halo lettering:  N -O -W Greek letters meaningHe who is Christ is the Cross of Salvation -Icon board wood/Tree of our Salvation

NIKA – letters surrounding the cross at top of icon- Divine darkness is depicted of the Father, through which the Holy Spirit descends

HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL – Holds a transparent ORB, representing the Trinity of God (Genesis 1: 27 and Psalm 141:2) From the time of our conception until Paradise, our soul is held safe for God by our Holy Guardian Angel.

‘More honorable than the Cherubim

And beyond compare more glorious

Than the Seraphim,

Thee who without corruption

Gave birth to God the Word,

The very Theotokos, do we magnify.

All the hosts of the Heavens

Praise Thee, and unto Thee

Do they send up glory to the Father,

And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,


Prophecy Designs Icons at the 2018 March for Life Expo

Prophecy Designs Icons was proud to partake in the 2018 March for Life Expo at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel from January 18 through January 19. The Expo is an opportunity for March for Life attendees to connect with pro-life organizations and ministries.

Iconographer, Kristina Sadley and her husband, Jim were on hand representing Prophecy Designs Icons.

On display at the Prophecy Designs Icons exhibit was the ‘Iconography of Life’ Icon written by the hand of Kristina Maria Sadley. The Icon was a prayer request of Seminarian Maxwell Vilwock, St. John Vianney Seminary, Miami, FL and depicts the Love of Jesus Christ Emmanuel within Mary and the unborn baby held in the Arms of God and the Holy Guardian Angel.

“With the theme for the 2018 March for Life ‘Love Saves Lives’, we believe truly in God’s love for His children, the intercession of Mary, the Holy Guardian Angels and Saints
as well as the souls of all the unborn babies forever in the loving Presence of God! This is the intercession inspiring the creation of the Iconography of Life Icon.”


Bishop consecrates ‘Our Lady of Tenderness’ icon

By Dorothy K. LaMantia
Correspondent for the Trenton Monitor

On Sunday, June 10, Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, Bishop David O’Connell, C.M., paid a pastoral visit to the parish of St. Andrew, Jobstown, for a rare and special event – the consecration of its new icon, “Our Lady of Tenderness.”

During the 10:30 a.m. Mass, parishioners and parish staff watched as the bishop prayed over and anointed the icon with holy oil.  Bishop O’Connell also blessed iconographer Kristina Sadley in front of the tabernacle, saying, “Mary the Theotokos was the God bearer as a tabernacle for the Lord.” These words were particularly significant to the iconographer whose personal prayer has long been, “May I be as a tabernacle for the Lord.”

Following Mass, parishioners honored Bishop O’Connell, Sadley and guests with a reception in the church hall.  The icon, glistening with rivulets of chrism, was displayed.

Our Lady of Tenderness is one of the great traditional motifs of the Eastern rite, or Orthodox Christianity, in which Mary caresses the Child Jesus, their cheeks pressed together, emphasizing their deep attachment to each other.

For centuries, Orthodox Christians have used icons to enhance their spiritual imagination and aid them in prayer, which is part of the reason parish administrator, Father Joseph Hlubik, commissioned this icon for his parish.  “I wanted an image that would be friendly to children and that showed Mary welcoming them.  When they see her, people will know they have a companion who is merciful and understanding,” he said.

“It will be in our hall for the children of our parish to see.  The coordinator of the CCD program, Celeste Grant, said that our kids don’t know the images of Mary, Christ, and the saints as [previous generations] had,” Father Hlubik added.

The icon of Mary is the second of two that Fr. Hlubik commissioned from Sadley for the church hall, which is used for Mass on weekends.  Two years ago “I wanted people seated in the hall to feel like they’re in church, so I told Kristina I wanted a large image of Christ that could be a focal point.  I wanted the image to convey the compassion and mercy of God, not sternness, but a God they can relate to.”

Consecrated by Bishop Smith in 2010, the icon of Jesus as Pantocrator, another traditional motif meaning All-Ruler, “transformed the hall into a more spiritual atmosphere,” he said.

Sadley, who hails from Allentown, has been creating, or as an iconographer would say, writing icons since 1999.  A native of Trenton and a cradle Catholic, Sadley studied art history at the University of Maine, where the “door opened” to her love of contemplative icons.   For 14 years she trained formally with Vladislav Andreyev, a master iconographer.  Last year she was honored to have been the only American iconographer whose work, an icon of the Theophany, or the Baptism of Jesus, was featured at a major exhibit of icons at a gallery in Moscow.

It took her two months to complete the 56 by 42-inch icon of Our Lady, which is composed on wood, painted with egg tempera and 24-karat gold leaf. She grinds her pigments by hand. Her work engages her body, mind, and spirit, is done in silence, and is prepared with prayer and fasting.

“Icons are not craft, not art; it is a liturgical method and a ministry. It is not wall art and is not signed by the icon writer. The catechism states, ‘Christian iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words.’ This is the reason that painting an icon is properly referred to as ‘writing.’ An iconographer is a writer of images. I must meditate on God’s Word and pray to worthily portray the holy word in image.”

Sadley has been doing business as “Prophecy Designs” for more than 30 years.  In addition to her icon writing, she conducts workshops and gives presentations to share the richness of her ministry.

To contact Sadley at her studio, call 609-259-5318 or email



Mastering the Symbolic Language of Iconography

Dan Harrington
Correspondent for Catholic Online

WHITEFIELD (Catholic Online) – When members of St. Mary’s Faith Formation invited Kristina Sadley to Maine, she jumped at the chance.

“I grew up in the Roman Catholic faith and have been an art person since childhood,” she said.

Sadley is a Roman Catholic iconographer who specializes in the Byzantine tradition of icon writing. After living in Maine for 30 years and earning a degree in art education from the University of Maine at Orono, Sadley moved to New Jersey in 1999.

As part of her job, she travels throughout New England to offer workshops in iconography.
She recently held a weeklong workshop at St. Denis Church in Whitefield. The event sparked enough interest that she has already made plans to return later this year.

“It’s a wonderfully intense workshop and runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Sadley said. “One lady wanted to come at 7:30 a.m. Everyone was really into it.”

Wendy Ford of Waldoboro had already taken Sadley’s workshop but also attended a lecture that Sadley gave on Feb. 26 to explain her work.

“I took the class with Kristina because I didn’t like icons. The more time you spend with them, the more you realize they’re not portraits,” Ford said. “They’re a way to see what I believe.”

According to Sadley, icons are more about faith than art. She said that the word “icon” means image and “graphy” means writing.

“It’s painted with a brush technically, but spiritually we say the icon is written. The images are based on the word [of God],” she explained. “It’s a symbolic language. You should be able to read the icon.”

Those who are versed in icon reading are able to decipher spiritual and biblical messages, even in the smallest details of the work.

The Bible says we were made in the image of God. That’s scripture. We’re all icons of God, and we can share that image with each other in what we do,

For example, in icons of Jesus, his halo contains horizontal and vertical lines. These represent the sacrifice Christians believe that Christ made on the cross.

Similarly, floral patterns in a halo represent the garden of paradise and would typically be found in halos of angels or saints.

Unlike other religious artwork, icons are created on wood and blessed with special oil.

Sadley said that the ancient process she follows for icon writing has twenty-two steps and requires her to pray and fast.

“You pray to hear God’s word and put that image out in the world,” she said.

Sadley has commissioned her work to churches and private homes. She uses all natural materials and grinds minerals to create colors. All the halos on her icons consist of 24 karat gold leaflets that she must be careful not to scratch.

She stressed that her work is based on a passage in the book of Genesis.

“The Bible says we were made in the image of God. That’s scripture. We’re all icons of God, and we can share that image with each other in what we do,” she said.

Andrew Williams of Gardiner took a special interest in Sadley’s message. At 7 1/2 years old, he was the youngest person to attend her lecture last month.

“I really like icons and want to learn more about them,” Andrew said. “I like to draw Christ and different saints.”

The youngster is a member of St. Alexander Nevsky Orthodox Church in Richmond and attended the event with his sister, 24-year-old Catherine Williams.

The siblings grew up with icons both in their church and in their home. After the lecture, Andrew presented Sadley with some artwork of his own as a gift.

Touched by the young man’s interest, she said she hopes more people will appreciate icons and what they represent.

“A true icon exists in us all. My prayer is that each of us would be open to recognizing that possibility and put forth the image of Christ into the world,” she said.

Kristina Sadley can be reached at