Father François Vidil went out on Sunday, November 3rd in Versailles (France).
- It is him who launched the original idea of a catechises which redraws the Life of Jesus in images.
- Jesus, his apostles, the Virgin and any else characters belong to the world which surrounds them: they are black in an African environment.
|1973 North Cameroun : Mafa Christian communauties wish to have an African representation of the gospel. A committee is formed to work on the project.|
|The most important New Testament scenes for liturgical and catechetical use are selected and then adapted to be played by the village people. The sketches are photographed and drawned. After a careful and detailed study JESUS MAFA paintings are executed by the artist, Bénédite de la Roncière.|
|Different size reproductions of these paintings have been sent all over the world since 1977 : 62 scenes, from the Annunciation to Pentecost, illustrate the three years sunday gospels in the Mass book. As for the church porches and the stained-glass windows in the european mediaeval cathedrals, where the environment and characters shown belong to the mediaeval society, likewise in Jesus Mafa paintings the characters and the environment belong to Africa.Thus a visual support of everyday life scenes helps the african catechist as he presents the Gospels oraly. Since about 40 years, More than 6 millions of these pictures have been dispatched to catechists, churches, missionaries, african communities, all kind of schools, libraries, booksellers, private people etc.|
|There is something like a miracle in the success of this job done for 40 years. by a french team which keeps up close relations with its correspondants in Africa. The artist knows how to find a simple and clear, realist and spiritual style which touches the sensitivity of black people, a style made of grace and beauty.|
|The Association Life of Jesus Mafa which, through its unpaid members look after the objects of the scheme and also carries out all the edition tasks : relation with the artist, the printers and the publishers. Organisation of the distribution channels and finally shipping of the parcels up to 30 kilos by post.
All the members of the Association are convinced of the need of the solidarity between Churches. They attached as much importance to sending a few pictures to a little mission in the bush as sending big quantities to some bookseller in a big city who resell on the spot. Their goal is not commercial but strictly missionary.
To-day, VIE DE JESUS MAFA is in touch with over 3000 correspondants in 83 countries all around the world : (44 in Africa, 13 in America mostly in USA (30 different states), 5 in the Pacific Ocean and 21 in Europe)