Mary of the Month (June 2012)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

This month’s image is a painting on canvas of one of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. She was accompanied by lighting, and seemed to come from the sky and return there at the end of the apparition. Mary stood on top of a little tree when she talked to the three shepherds, but the leaves were not bent …

Mary of the Month (May 2012)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

Back in October, I posted this image of a statue of Mary in the Villa Doria-Pamfili in Rome. I complained that the poor situation of the statue was a sign of people’s difficulty in accepting love, and I thought to myself that this was also a sign of how few people cared about God these days. In the last few …

Mary of the Month (April 2012)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

The beginning of this month coincides with Holy Week, and to accompany the last days of our Lenten journey, here is a deeply treasured image of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother. The Spanish have a great tradition of Good Friday processions, and a statue of La Dolorosa always accompanies the way of the cross. This image is from a church in …

Mary of the Month (February 2012)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

This arch is above the entry way to a chapel that belongs to a community of sisters who are dedicated to serving those in need. Founded by the Italian priest, Fr. Luigi Gaunella, the community is called the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, and this is conincidentally the title of their mosaic.

Mary of the Month (December 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

Advent – the whole world is in expectation of the birth of Mary’s Son, and my favorite expectant Mary is Our Lady of Guadalupe, whom we celebrate on December 12th. When looking for a picture of La Guadalupana, I found this beautiful and very evocative image, connecting Our Lady of Guadalupe with the woman in the Apocaplypse: And a great …

Mary of the Month (October 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

These two statutes of Mary, in the Doria-Pamphili park in Rome, evoke the conflicted relationship we have with motherhood. We desire to be loved, but at the same time we resent the fact that “being loved” is something completely beyond our control. The conflict seems to be most obvious in teenagers, who have a way of resenting and pushing away …

Mary of the Month (September 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

The patroness of the cathedral of Madrid is the Blessed Virgin Mary, venerated by locals (and pilgrims) in this image of the Virgen de la Almudena. The unusual name for Mary apparently comes from the Arabic word, al-mudayna (the citadel), indicating a part of the city of Madrid, a city which was founded by the Moors. The Virgin was one …

Mary of the Month (August 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

In the city of Rome there are many depictions of Mary, placed on the sides of buildings to honor her, thank her, and remind people that they have a mother. This one is near the parliament building in downtown Rome. Here is a very thought-provoking reflection on Mary and femininity from Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Redemptoris Mater. This Marian …

Mary of the Month (July 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

On July 17th, the Church celebrates Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This statue, done in the full Italian baroque style, is in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina near the Vatican. It is made to be carried on the shoulders of men in a procession. I like the way that, despite the rather distracting opulence of the artistic style, …

Mary of the Month (June 2011)

Benjamin Mary of the Month

This image is from a shrine to Mary outside the town of Nepi, which is north of Rome towards Viterbo. Before Christianity came to the area there was a temple to the goddess Diana, but in the year AD 520 some monks destroyed the temple and built a monastery and a basilica on top of its ruins. Two of these …