45 X 45cm in Cursive Script (草書)
Historical Information and Interpretation
The Chinese word "福
" is a very positive word that carries not only the meaning of "blessed", but also "goodness", "fortune", and even "everything is going perfectly well". In Confucianism, it "means perfection;it is the name given to the complete and natural discharge of all duties. When nothing is left incomplete or improperly discharged;this is what we call perfection" (《禮記·祭統》: "福者，備也；備者，百順之名也", translated by James Legge)(1
). As an aside, James Legge (理雅各) is a renowned Scottish sinologist who translated many classical Chinese books in the late 1800s (2). Coincidentally, he was the first principal of my alma mater, Ying Wa Collge (Anglo-Chinese College).
Overall, the term "福" is so pleasant that it is posted on walls in most Chinese homes during Chinese New Years.
For Catholics, this "福" ("Blessed") carries a slightly different meaning. It refers to the reward and joy in Heaven as stated in Mathew 5:3-11:
are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake.