Mary Mother of God: The Different Images of Mary

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The Different Images of Mary

 

Though she is known by many names and depictions, she is just one person--she is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God.  Here, we take a look at the ways she has revealed herself to us, the various interpretations of her through centuries of Catholic artwork, and the significances of each.
 

Our Lady of Guadalupe

This is the image of Mary that miraculously appeared on the cloak of St. Juan Diego in 16th Century Mexico.  The symbol-laden apparition recalls the woman in Revelation 12 as well as containing imagery significant to the native Aztecs of the region, calling for their conversion to Catholicism.  This very image is still preserved in the Basilica in Mexico City.

Our Lady of Lourdes

This depiction of Mary often has her standing in a grotto (or, cave) just as she appeared outside of Lourdes, France, in the mid-19th Century.  As described by St. Bernadette, Our Lady carried a Rosary and wore all white, except for the blue belt around her waist and the gold roses on each foot.  The water from the spring that St. Bernadette was told to dig supposedly has curative properties.

Our Lady of Fatima

As described by Lucia in the early 20th Century, Mary appeared to her brighter than the sun, radiating beams of light.  Our Lady was dressed in a pure white mantle edged with gold, with a Rosary whose beads were like stars and its crucifix the most radiant gem of all.  In her message, she encouraged the praying of Rosaries to bring world peace.

Our Lady of
Mount Carmel

This is the name given to the Virgin Mary as the patroness of the Carmelite Order.  She is seen dressed in the brown habit of the Order while holding the Carmelite scapular.  Tradition has it that she gave the scapular to St. Simon Stock in the 13th Century, promising that whoever dies while wearing it will be saved.

View Statues and Images of Our Lady in:

Statues of Our Lady - 12" Saint Statues - 24" Saint Statues - Outdoor Statues - Miscellaneous Statues & Fonts
Miraculous Medals - Scapulars - Wall Decorations - Icons

And of course, her Holy Rosary and Books on Our Lady

Immaculate Heart
of Mary

Mary is shown pointing to her visible heart in this devotional title.  Her heart is usually seen encircled with flowers, topped with a flame and with light glowing from it.  It is a testament to her love--for her God, her devotion to her Son, and her mercy for all of us.

Madonna and Child

In these varying portrayals, we see Mary carrying the infant Jesus, reminding us of her importance to our Lord as His mother.  She gave birth to Him and nourished and raised Him, and remained with Him all the way to His crucifixion.

Our Lady of
Perpetual Help

This is the title given to Mary as seen in this particular Byzantine icon.  It is important to note in this that Our Lady is pointing to the infant Jesus, showing that her purpose is to serve Him.  Afloat behind them are the Archangels Michael, carrying a lance and sponge, and Gabriel, carrying a cross and nails--reminding us of the crucifixion.

The Pieta

This could refer specifically to the statue by Michelangelo in St. Peter's Basilica, or any representation showing Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.  This image is meant to portray the sorrow Mary felt as the mother of Jesus, and a testament of her devotion to Him even until His death.






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