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“To see it up here…is powerful:” Marquette University unveils painting to honor James Foley

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MILWAUKEE -- It's been more than a year since ISIS murdered journalist and Marquette University alumnus, James Foley. But outside the Church of the Gesu, Foley's legacy will live on at his alma mater.

James Foley portrait

James Foley portrait

Last February, a painting of Foley was commissioned during Marquette's Mission Week. It was painted from a photograph of Foley, taken during his last visit to Marquette in between his two captivities.

Now, that painting has a permanent home.

A mass of remembrance was held on Sunday, October 11th that revolved around Foley.

"As we bless this portrait and present it for public viewing, let us remember how James loved the people he served," said Father Fred Zagone, Church of the Gesu.

Father Fred Zagone blessed the portrait of Marquette alumnus James Foley. Twice captured in his capacity as an overseas journalist, Foley was executed by the Islamic State in Syria last August, after two years in captivity.

"People around the world have talked about what he did, how he did it, how he lived his life and ultimately how he died," said Father Zagone.

Inside the Church of Gesu was Foley's parents.

John and Diane Foley

John and Diane Foley

"God gave Jim to all of us, but Marquette helped him find his passion," said John Foley, father of James Foley.

Foley's parents say Marquette's prayers and support have carried them along this difficult journey.

"We're just so grateful all this goodness and support makes all the difference," said Diane Foley, mother of James Foley.

Marquette University honors James Foley

Marquette University honors James Foley

Following mass was a procession with Foley's portrait held high. His family and their supporters marched out the church doors, down the streets of campus and toward Marquette's Alumni Memorial Union.

Marquette University honors James Foley

Marquette University honors James Foley

Outside the union chapel, Foley's portrait is hung on a wall.

Foley's parents and friends continue to be amazed by his impact and legacy.

"It's amazing like just the impact his life has had on people, so to see it up here at our alma mater is powerful," said Thomas Durkin, James Foley's friend.

This isn't the only honor for Foley. On Saturday, October 17th about 200 people will take part in a 5K run on Marquette's campus. Then on Sunday, on what would have been Foley's 42nd birthday, Marquette will be passing out rosaries in his memory.

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