|"Madre Sagrada" oil painting by Paloma Nava which hangs in the St. Francis Xavier Church in Albuquerque|
It seems only appropriate to post an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on this, her feast day. I do love seeing so many different interpretations of Mary on this, our 12 day journey together. And, as always, I am inspired by all with whom I share this journey with-it is such a diverse group who come together as ONE. The images and the writings have lifted and transported me each day. For this, I thank each and every one of you. I also feel the our dear Joe Spado has been with us on this journey too. I think it was because of this 12 day journey that I ended up 'meeting' him. Gone too soon, Joe...
The Madonna Lily
|Madonna Lily II © Vendenis|
The Madonna Lily. Also known as the Annunciation Lily. Also known as Virgin Lily. Also known as Mary's Lily.
"The Venerable Bede (A.D. 672-735) described the white petals as symbols of Mary's body, and the golden anthers as symbols of the glory of her soul. Roses and lilies were said to have filled Mary's empty tomb when it was opened by the Apostles. While lilies' association with purity cause them to be depicted with many Saints, such as SS. Francis and Claire, they are most strongly associated with St. Joseph, whose rod is said, in the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, to have blossomed to prove he was worthy to guard Mary and become her spouse; with St. Anthony of Padua, because lilies left in chuches on his Feast Day miraculously remained fresh during the French Revolution; and with the archangel Gabriel, who is depicted as presenting Mary with the lily at the Annunciation (hence the name "Annunciation Lily"). Lilies are also associated with Solomon's Temple (III Kings 7:19-22), and their beauty is commented on by Christ Himself (Luke 12:27)."
Most of the information that I shared with everyone in regards to the flowers of Mary has come from the Fisheaters website Here are some other examples of the flowers of Mary:
"Picture her eyes (Forget-Me-Nots), her hair (Maidenhair Fem), her five fingers (Potentilla). Think about her apparel: her smock (Morning Glory), her veil (Baby's Breath), her nightcap (Canterbury Bells), her gloves (Foxglove), and her shoes (Columbine). Remember her attributes: Mary's humility (Violet), the fruitful virgin (Strawberry), Mary's queenship (Virgin Lily), Mary's Flower of God (English Daisy), Mary's glory (Saint John's Wort), and Our Lady's Faith (Veronica).
Think about her life: The Bethlehem Star (Bellflower), the Christmas Flower (Poinsettia), Lady's Bedstraw (Dianthus - Mary used bedstraw to prepare a bed for Jesus), the Epiphany flower (Chrysanthemum), the Flight into Egypt (Fig Tree - legend says that the Holy Family ate the fruit of this tree during their flight into Egypt), Our Lady's Tears (Lily of the Valley - tiny white nodding bell-shaped flowers can be likened to a train of tears), Our Lady's Tresses (Asparagus Fern - legend holds that at the foot of the cross, Mary, in. deep agony, tore out a tress of her hair which Saint John preserved), Mary's Bitter Sorrow (Dandelion), and the Assumption (Hosta - Plantation Lily blooms at the time of the Feast of the Assumption)."
One of the things that I especially loved learning about the flowers of Mary on this journey is a new way in connecting with the Mother of our Savior. All of these flowers have a new found meaning for me.
As human beings, we all turn to examples of what we are trying to model our behavior after. It serves as a reminder to keep trying. It serves as inspiration. Most importantly, perhaps, is that it serves as an example to follow (as best we can).
It's not about idolatry worship-nothing could be further from the truth. It's about recognition and honoring the role that this incredible woman was chosen for.
This marks the conclusion of an annual tradition for a group of us (hosted by the amazing Rebecca Brooks) where we post something about our Blessed Mother for 12 days-starting with December 1st and concluding on the Feast Day of Our Lady Of Guadalupe on Dec. 12th. I will admit, that for all of us, our lives are busy lives; particularly as we head into the Holiday Season. This kind of commitment is not as easy to do as one would think!
And, by all means, please be sure to stop by and visit the others who have been on this 12 day journey.