Random Advent Thought

M mentioned something to me the other day and it’s quite stuck in my head now…

Why don’t we ever see pictures/icons/statues of the pregnant Mary? Seems like an ideal Advent image… Even the “pre-Christmas” pictures just tend to have her as a lump on a donkey and don’t really show her as what she was—a pregnant mother.

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9 Responses to Random Advent Thought

  1. They are around if you know where to look… I don’t see to many images of Mary in my church at all. There is one silver icon in a conference room and someone, perhaps in anticipation of people trying to remove it, permanently stuck it to the wall. It won’t budge a fraction of a mm, but that may be just as well. I’ll see if I can find a few links for you later…

  2. Anastasia says:

    a lump on a donkey?

  3. Christopher says:

    We do. The Virgin of the Sign. She hangs on my wall in my office and I once wrote such for my parish in Eugene.

  4. Well, yeah, Anastasia–most of the “on the way to Bethlehem” pictures I can think of have Joseph walking and Mary on a donkey but not recognizable pregnant. Hardly an image of the mater dei in the midst of mater-ing…

  5. LP says:

    I seem to recall reading something about pregnant Mary statues in middle ages…have no reference for this though.

  6. Mrs. M says:

    That’s exactly why I really enjoy this stole (if I ever make it from postulant to priest…)


  7. thomas says:

    Years ago a friend of mine wanted to buy a statue of Mary pregnant and I still remember vividly the scandalized reaction from the women at the Catholic book store we went to . They were horrified at the suggestion – I didn’t understand why then and still don’t now.

    The closest thing I’ve ever seen is a “Platytera” icon, but even that isn’t really close.

    It’s a rather strange lacuna, isn’t it.

  8. That’s a neat stole, Mrs. M…

    Yes, thomas, I’m amazed at the reticence in this area and I’m really not sure what’s behind it. It seems rather docetic…

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