Artist Stephany Lyman stands on her balcony above her depiction of quarterback Drew Brees in a Last Supper mural hanging along Bayou St. John in New Orleans.

My mural, “Verily, It Came to Pass,” is a tribute to our recently retired quarterback, Drew Brees, building on a history that connects our home team with our religious culture.

My intention was not to belittle or trivialize a sacred event but, on the contrary, to lift spirits during a season of hope and renewal. Many Saints’ fans, like me, were raised Roman Catholic but took no offense at the team being baptized “the Saints” — on All Saints Day, no less — with the blessing of Archbishop Hannan.

Who Dats regularly dress up like bishops and priests, burn candles that depict Drew as a saint or savior, and even affectionately refer to him as Breesus. In the spirit of Krewe du Vieux and other satirical groups, my purpose was to poke fun at these associations while honoring a man who, against all odds, lifted our city up from its lowest point. With our team’s brand rooted in this playful relationship with Catholic culture, how is it possible to be a Saints fan without a sense of humor?

I believe Drew Brees to be Jesus Christ no more than I believe Jimmy Graham to be Judas Iscariot. I also feel strongly that humor and art are necessary channels for personal and spiritual expression.



New Orleans