Wednesday of the First Week: Lent 2018

Novena to Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows: Day 3.

Station Church: Santa Maria Maggiore

In the Borghese Chapel is housed the icon written by Saint Luke of the Virgin and Child. The image is five feet high by three and a quarter feet wide – very large for an icon, especially one with an early date. It is written on a thick cedar panel. Mary wears a gold-trimmed dark blue mantle over a dark red tunic. Christ is holding a book in his left hand, presumably a Gospel. His right hand is raised in a blessing, and it is Mary not he who looks directly out at the onlooker.

The folded together position of Mary’s hands distinguishes this image as a version of the earlier type from before the development of the types of iconography, where Mary points to Christ with her right hand. Rather than offering the Child, she keeps his body closer to hers and seeks physical and contact with Him.

8] However the few other examples of this type do not have the Virgin’s hands folded together – the right hand holds Christ’s knee.

Let us pray.

Bow your heads to God.

O Lord, we beseech You, shed light upon our minds by the brightness of Your glory, so that we may see what we must do and have strength to do what is right. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

R. Amen.

For Lenten spiritual reading and beyond: check out my publication HERE of 31 days of meditations on the Passion of Christ.

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