The Middle Ages art around Mother Mary

The Middle Ages art around Mother Mary

It was in the Middle Ages that images of the Mother Mary, also known as Madonnas, began to pick up popularity. And specifically in Italy, in the process of panel painting.

The role of the Dominican

The Dominican and Franciscan Orders were among the first to give the go-ahead for such panels, and they were used everywhere from churches and monasteries to residential homes. Groups called confraternities met specifically to sing the Virgin Mary’s praises in chapels and were known to provide the funding for such panels.

The panels themselves, as part of the construction of churches dedicated to the Mother Mary, could be costly affairs, as they often included real gold leaf. Some stone used in the construction, including the bright blue lapis lazuli, was brought all the way from Afghanistan.

Duccio’s Madonnas

In the late Middle Ages, the artist Duccio was responsible for creating some of the most famous Madonnas. One of the most famous ones is above the altar in the Cathedral of his hometown, Siena. This is known as the Maesta and is included as part of a massive work which depicts various prophets and saints.

The unique style of the Middle Ages

The Mother Mary can usually be distinguished in these Middle Ages works due to her depiction as a young mother. She is typically wearing a blue mantle or appears in murals and mosaics. There’s a great deal of attention paid to the emotion on the face of Mother Mary, while she is holding the Baby Jesus. Moreover, this is often depicted as an intimate moment, in which the compassion of the Mother Mary can be seen.

How did painters of the renaissance see Mother Mary?

How did painters of the renaissance see Mother Mary?

We can find in Art pieces of evidence about the spiritual life in a certain time and place. In this article, we will explore Mother Mary’s figure during the renaissance in Europe.

The Mother Mary depicted alone or with the Baby Jesus, is a common feature of the art which characterized Renaissance culture, from the 14th Century to the 17th Century in Europe.

Representing figure

This kind of representation is often used in the Orthodox and Catholic churches.

Sometimes it is referred to as a ‘Madonna’, coming from the Italian ‘ma donna’ or ‘my lady’ in English.

Many pictures and statues, particularly as part of the Italian Renaissance, depict the Mother Mary.

It is not uncommon to find saints and angels depicted to the sides of the Mother Mary, who is the central figure. Many artworks and 3D depictions refer to scenes from the life of the Mother Mary.

The Painters

Many of the artists known as the Masters of the Renaissance period chose the Mother Mary as the main subject of their works, including Michelangelo, Giovanni Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Duccio, Raphael, Rubens, and Caravaggio.

The Sistine Madonna by Raphael is perhaps the most famous depiction of the Mother Mary. It was originally painted for the San Sisto Church in Piacenza.

The influence of the paintings

These works typically depict Mother Mary expressing compassion and love – there is certainly a current of emotion which can be seen in the best Madonnas.

Some of the works produced in the Renaissance period are considered sacred and were instrumental in the careers of the artists themselves. Other subjects from the Old Testament are featured in the landscape of Renaissance art, but the Mother Mary is certainly one of the most popular and important subjects chosen in this period.

Mother Mary’s Motherhood

Mother Mary’s Motherhood

Mother Marys Motherhood

Our Role Model

We all know wonderful real-world examples of motherhood, but when we seek inspiration and a figure to model ourselves upon, there is none better than the divine mother herself. A woman worthy of emulation, we can find inspiration in her virtue, and in her unconditional love towards not only her son but humanity as a whole.

Our Mother as well

You see, when Mary agreed to bear God’s son, she also made a commitment to become our mother too, for we are each united with Jesus in the Mystical Body. Though taken up to Heaven millennia ago, it is in her manifold intercessions that we continue to receive the gift of eternal salvation. To us, she is an advocate, comforter, and benefactress in one single feminine form.

What makes her inspiring?

Through the study of her actions and defining traits, every woman can thus gift their children with an upbringing worthy of God: one where we exemplify acceptance, courage, endurance, faith, hope, joy, obedience, patience, strength, and trust.

More, we can learn a lesson in faith, and in teaching this to our children. Mary was asked to endure much – unwed motherhood, the disappointment of her betrothed, the torture and death or her son – and yet she came through all of these with her strength, courage, and faith in God still intact.

Devotion and Dedication

With Mary as a model of motherhood, we can thus endure every trial and tribulation that the role of parent thrusts upon us, the joys and the sorrows alike. For when we look to Mary for inspiration, we see that the way that a mother should love: devotedly, devoutly, and with an eternal and unwavering dedication to our faith.

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Mother Marys Motherhood

Mother Mary and her miracle birth of Jesus

Mother Mary Miracle Birth Of Jesus

Jesus’s virginal conception is a miracle pertaining to Mother Mary, and is the foundation of the belief that the birth was the Holy Spirit’s miraculous work.

The Miracle in the infancy narratives

In the New Testament, there are two scriptures relating to this supernatural event, confirming Mother Mary as a single, natural parent. They are also known as the infancy narratives.

Through the prophet, the Lord said:

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” Matthew 1:18-25

The event took place before Mother Mary was agreed to marry Joseph, and after that Angel Gabriel had made known the Virgin Birth, the New Testament records Luke’s reaction as follows:

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)

The angel also sought to reassure Joseph that he should still take Mary’s hand in marriage, despite him not playing a part in the birth:

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Luke 1:26-38)

The miracle birth is a belief which runs through Christianity, from the Orthodox to Catholic and Protestant churches.

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The Rosary is the New Must Have

The Rosary is the most recognizable form of Catholic devotion, but not just for Catholic. Sadly, it is a devotion that has fallen out of fashion for many Catholics and non-Catholics.
Even though this is unfortunate, the Rosary remains as one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal and tool for spiritual warfare and one of the most powerful aids in the pursuit of a fruitful spiritual life.

The following are reasons as to why the rosary is the new must have:

Mary’s Promises for Daily Devotion These are the fifteen promises given by Mary:

  1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
  2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces.
  3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy.
  4. The Rosary will make virtue and good works it will destroy vice, deliver from sin, and dispel heresy. The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that soul would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
  6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
  7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death, the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
  9. I will deliver promptly from Purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
  10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in Heaven.
  11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
  12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise to aid in all their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
  14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers, and sisters of Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

You should also pray the rosary every day because it lets you know your mother better, which then lets you know Jesus better.
The rosary also has power against the evil and will protect you, hence making it the new must-have.

Mother Mary the Merciful and Compassionate

Mother Mary the Merciful and Compassionate

Mercy and compassion are two of the words most commonly associated with the Mother of Christ, and two traits that many invoke when asking for her divine intercession. This is arguably because she is a perfect example of each.

Vessel of mercy

After all, it is Mary who acted as the vessel of mercy. Mother of Jesus Christ, it is her to whom we cry out during that so oft repeated prayer:

“Hail Holy Queen,

Mother of Mercy,

Our life, our sweetness, and our hope…”

The child of an Immaculate Conception, she was perfectly fashioned by God to bring his mercy into the world in the form of his Son.

This is a gift that she gave to us all willingly. Despite the shame of unwed motherhood in a time when society was so heavily prejudiced against such women, and the undeserved initial disappointment of her betrothed, Joseph, she endured all to deliver a child who would cleanse the world of its sins and lead by shining example.

Through her, we thus received Divine Mercy in its purest form: undeserved, unmerited, yet given to us by God with this blessed woman willingly acting as a divine vessel.

Compassion against all odds

It is in her that we see pure and unadulterated compassion too. Ever willing to intercede on behalf of those who invoke her, she brings the gentlest and most tender qualities of femininity to our religion, being a great mother to us all.

This is her truest purpose: to mother, to nurture, to care, and to listen. In our darkest days, it is to her ears that we direct our pleas, and with ultimate compassion, she chooses to hear us all from her heavenly throne: always there, always waiting, and ever benevolent.

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The connection between the rosary and the Holy Land

Since the Rosary is composed with “Our Father and the Hail Mary”, it was, therefore, without doubt, the first prayer and the principal devotion of the faithful.

The prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, which are the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”, are in use all over the centuries, from the time of the apostles and disciples down to the present, and will continue to be used for centuries to come. Both prayers are composed of substance in principle which reflects our devotion and faith.

The beginning of the Rosary

It was only in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method that is used today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners.
When Saint Dominic saw that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, he withdrew into the forest and prayed continuously for three days and three nights. His body was lacerated and fell into a comma.
At this moment our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said,
“Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?”
“Oh, my Lady,” answered Saint Dominic, “you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.”
Then our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

Saint Dominic inspiration

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics.
The Rosary, which he said every day, was his preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with our Lady immediately after preaching.
In the 4th century, the prayer rope used by the Desert Fathers to count repetitions of the Jesus Prayer was seen to be a form of the rosary. Details of the connection of the rosary and the holy land are sketchy.

The history and origin of the Rosary

The history and origin of the Rosary

The rosary is one of the most fundamental and cherished prayer tools in Christianity. Mostly identified with the Catholic Church, but also in use by the Orthodox and Protestants.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners”, was an addition to the “Hail Mary” prayer. Who said it?

Basic Structure and purpose

Praying the Rosary is introduced by four prayers:

  1. The Creed
  2. Our Father
  3. Three Hail Marys
  4. The Doxology (“Glory Be”)

The prayer is concluded with the Salve Regina.
Since Praying, in general, involves recitation of prayers the prayer can use as an assistance. The beads allow the person to focus on the words instead of the counting.In the Catholic rosary, there are five decades consisting of the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, and the Doxology. During this recitation, the person is able to meditate. The meditation is about the saving mysteries of our Lord’s life and the faithful witness of our Blessed Mother.

Origin and Tradition

The usage of “prayer beads” and the repeated recitation of prayers aid in meditation and has a long history. The use of beads stems from the earliest days of the Church and has roots in pre-Christian times.
According to tradition, the origin of the modern rosary started at the beginning of the 13th Century. The Blessed Mother Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in the church of Prouille, and said to him:

“Wonder not that until now you have had such little fruit from your labours. You have spent them on a barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth he began by sending down the fertilizing dew of the Angelic Salutation. Preach my Rosary composed of one hundred and fifty Aves, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.”

Later in the 15th century, a Dominican priest had a plan to reestablish the use of the Rosary. The priest was Blessed Alanus de Rupe, a theologian, and a learned preacher. His addition to the Rosary was the “15 Promises” of Mother Mary to any Christian who uses the Rosary as a prayer instrument.

The 16th Century

In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Rosary was approved by the Catholic Church. The Dominican Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, which established the devotion to the Rosary.

The Rosary is an instrument with a reassuring effect. We can see that on troubled days, the Marian devotion of the Rosary helps with regaining your strength. Saint Peter Canisius, a Doctor of the Church, who is credited with adding the sentence “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners” to the Hail Mary, was an ardent advocate of the rosary and promoted it (and its Marian devotion in general) because he believed that the Rosary was the best way to re-establish the status of the Church.

Where are The Churches of Mother Mary in the Holy Land?

Where are The Churches of Mother Mary in the Holy Land?

Mother Mary’s journeys had a great impact on Jesus, but while we can find many sites related to his footsteps, what do we know about hers? Here are some highlights on Mother Mary’s main stations in life and the Churches we can visit today.

There are several holy sites in today’s Israel, which are sacred to Christians all over the world. Some of them are churches pertaining to the Mother Mary.

In the North

The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes known as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a place of worship in the northern Israeli town of Nazareth. The Annunciation happened there, while Mary was taking water from a spring. Therefore the site features the Grotto of the Annunciation, and some say that Mary’s childhood home was in that cave. Today, there is a modern 20th-century church with two stories at the site. The first shrine at the Church of the Annunciation is said to date back to the 4th century.

In Jerusalem

The Church of the Assumption which is dated back to the 5th century is also located in Holy Land. According to the Christian tradition, Mary’s Tomb is found in this church. The church is at the bottom of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. There is also a niche which is dedicated to St. Joseph, Mary’s husband. The church is located in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls; not far from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. To the right of the church is a passageway which leads to the Grotto of Gethsemane, which is the site where Jesus gave his last lessons to his disciples.

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What did God destine for Mother Mary?


What did God destine for Mother Mary?

What can we learn from the mission and purpose God gave to Mary? How is it connected to the Planet Earth?

Missions, Mother Mary and God

Just like Mother Mary, we all come to this world with a mission, a calling from God. While we all know about her purpose of being the Mother of Jesus Christ, we should consider her further callings.

In our age, we as sons and daughters of God are called together to fulfill our vows. But, many of us have lost the memory of the vow and of the inner experience with our God. Therefore, we tend to forget that God is personable and that we can talk to Him as an old friend, rather than a stranger. Since God is almighty and friendly at the same time, we might tend to forget that he gave us missions, purposes.

The Present God Gave us

As God has given us the world to take care of, we should make sure that we do not destroy it. We have seen many actions of human beings have led to disasters like climate change which are threatening to destroy the very nature of human beings and the very place God has created for us.

What must we do?

We should strive to conserve the environment by planting more trees and making sure that it is clean. Also, we must take care of our rivers and lakes and everything that God provided for us in our natural surroundings.
We have to avoid activities which lead to any type of pollution, be it air, land or water. When our air is polluted, it leads to diseases which threaten our lives, the lives of animals and plants.

Mother Mary is our Reminder

In conclusion, in order to live like Mother Mary and do what God instructs us to do of our planet; we should always strive to ensure that we protect it for our generation and the generations to come.

Mother Mary had fulfilled her mission, she is an inspiration to all mankind. She is a constant reminder of the importance of life and assuring its existence. Since we all have a mission from God, making efforts to protect life should be our main concern and all living matter.

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Saint Anne is the Mother of…

Saint Anne

Saint Anne is the Mother of…

Little is known about the history of Mother Mary, and her family and origin. One of the reasons is that we don’t know much about her parents. But the little that is told shows an exciting view of Jesus life and legacy.

Jesus’ Grandmother

We know very little about Saint Anna. Actually, the apocryphal Gospel of James is the main source we have, with the most information about her. According to Christian tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus. She was born in Bethlehem and got married to Joachim who lived in Nazareth, a village in the Holy Land.

The Misfortune of Anna and Joachim

Unfortunately, Anne was infertile at a time when barrenness was considered a sign of God’s judgment or displeasure with a person. Furthermore, in the Jewish culture, barrenness was the height of misfortune. As a result of the childlessness, the temple priest refused to accept Joachim’s sacrifice.
Joachim and Anna’s Prayer Answered

In desperation, Joachim is said to have gone into the desert to pray and fast. At the same time, Anna was also praying and reminding God about how He had blessed Sarah, Abraham’s barren wife with a son. As she prayed, an angel of the Lord appeared and told her that her prayer had been heard. The angel promised that she would conceive and her offspring would be famous the world over. The angel also instructed her to name the child Mary. In gratitude, Anne, who was now set to become Mother Mary’s mother, dedicated her future offspring to God.

Jesus and Mary

In the meantime, an angel had also appeared to Joachim and assured him that Anne was going to conceive, bear a child who they were to name Mary and dedicated to God.
Just like the angel had said, Saint Anna conceived and, after birth, the couple consecrated Mary to serve at the temple in Jerusalem. When she was fourteen, Mary was betrothed to Joseph of Nazareth which continues the story of the birth of Jesus, his life, ministry, death, and resurrection.

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Saint Anne

The Birth of Mother Mary – What do we know?

The Birth of Mother Mary – What do we know?

Do you know who were Mother Mary’s parents or where she was born? Here are some highlights of her origins

As the mother of Jesus, Mary is a central figure in Christianity. Even though we don’t have direct details of her birth recorded in the Bible, we do have some information. Some of the earliest Christian writers did describe her nativity.

Jerusalem or Sepphoris?

The place of her birth varies according to different accounts. Some place it near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem while others claim it was in Sepphoris in north modern-day Israel.
Date of Birth
As for the date, the Catholic Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 8. There is also a celebration of her Immaculate Conception exactly nine months earlier, on December 8.

Who were her parents?

The Protoevangelium of James describes how Mary’s parents, Saints Joachim and Anne, were grieved by their childlessness. Her parents were devoted to prayer and fasting until an angel came to greet them.

The angel and Mary’s name

Afterwards, the angel told them: “The Lord has heard your prayer, and you shall conceive, and shall bring forth, and your seed shall be spoken of in all the world.”
From the book, we are learning how Joachim took the newborn Mary to the priests, stating, “And they blessed her, saying: O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her an everlasting name to be named in all generations.”
“…And he brought her to the chief priests, and they blessed her, saying: O God most high, look upon this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, which shall be forever.”

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