"This is an answer to prayer," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., before the painting, draped in red velvet, was shown to the luncheon crowd.
Brownback said he has been praying that "art would come back that presents the truth and presents it grandly" and added that the art world was in need of "wonderful, lasting art that appeals to the eye and the soul."
The oil painting is 5 feet 10 inches tall and called "La Madonna della Luce" (Our Lady of Light). It depicts Pope John Paul's luminous mysteries of the rosary with an image of Mary holding the baby Jesus and surrounded by angels. A miniature portrait of Pope John Paul is painted in the rim of one of the angel's trumpets.