TERRYVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — A Terryville priest is known for his eye-catching creations. It’s known as a pysanka — an intricate Ukrainian painted egg.
The tradition is typically associated with Easter but practiced year-round by Father Paul Luniw.
“I used to watch my mother as a little boy, doing the eggs,” said Luniw, “and as time went on, I’d do more and more and more, and it was a technique I’ve developed over the years.”
His work has been seen all around the world but it’s one audience in particular earlier this year that meant the most to him: Pope Francis.
When gifted with his delicate ostrich egg, Luniw said Pope Francis told him, in Italian, that his creation was beautiful, asking if Luniw made it himself.
The interaction happened while he was on a tour with Catholic and Orthodox church leaders.
In the rare opportunity, the two had a conversation about his process.
“I explained to him how I do the eggs with the dye and the wax,” said Luniw.
He uses wax and dye, again and again, until the wax is melted off, to reveal the intricate design. He works with all shapes and sizes — goose, chicken, duck, swan, and even tiny finch eggs.
So what’s the secret to making these eggs?
“Years of work and years of patience,” said Luniw. “I have to admit I’ve damaged quite a few eggs, but I don’t get upset about it, these things happen!”
A lifetime of work and patience led to an opportunity Father Paul will never forget.
“I’m grateful, and as Thanksgiving approaches, I’m grateful to God for the opportunity.”