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Archive for January 18th, 2007

Oh, Happy Discovery!  I love this!  Our Lady of the Book is a beautiful devotional meditation.  It is quoted here in part from The Mary Page in an article by Rev. Eamon R. Carroll, O.Carm. 

Symbolism of the Images:

"What is behind the representation of Our Lady of the Book? We find three lessons in the scene:

  • Mary herself reads;
           
  • the perfect correspondence between what was foretold in the Bible and its fulfilment in the birth and life of Jesus;
           
  • Mary is herself the ‘book’ in which the Church reads the ways of God.

The first meaning is Mary as reader; she reads in the fullest sense, that is, she searches, she understands, she prays, she opens her mind and heart to whatever message God will send her through his sacred word.

A second sense of Our Lady and the book is the correspondence in her life between God’s promises and their fulfilment in Jesus her Son. Gabriel is quoting the same prophecies Mary is reading, and as she consents to become Mother of the Savior, the forecasts become reality.

A third element in the tradition of Mary and the book is that the Blessed Virgin is herself a book in which the Church reads, a reading that began with the apostles. Early authors call Mary "the sacred book of the divine precepts, in which what pleases God is made known to us, as Jeremias saw long ago…" (St. Theodore of Studion, D. 826). One compiler tracked down ninety titles in which Mary is described as a book.

Our Lady of the book can teach us still how to pray better; we never grow too old to learn from the Mother of Jesus, the gospel woman of faith so well versed in God’s holy word."

Our Lady of the Book

Book1_1
Our Lady wears no dearer look

Than when she’s reading in a book.

For then the virgin named most Wise

Reveals her schoolgirl’s earnest eyes.

A furrow grace where eyebrows meet

I trace in her called Wisdom’s Seat

The hands that steady Jesus’ pace

Now cautiously each letter trace.


Book5
And Anna’s lessons learned so slow

Seem long ago, seem long ago.

Our Lady wears no dearer look

Than when she’s reading in a book.



Book4
For then the virgin named most Wise

Reveals her schoolgirl’s earnest eyes.

A furrow grace where eyebrows meet

I trace in her called Wisdom’s Seat

The hands that steady Jesus’ pace

Now cautiously each letter trace.
Book6

And Anna’s lessons learned so slow

Seem long ago, seem long ago."

~Father Joachim Smet November 27, 1943
Image:
Ateliers Brabancons (15th c)

next two images: Rogier Van der Weyden (1399-1464)

final image: Jan van Eyck
Ghent Altarpiece, excerpt, 1432

This explanation and the poem are being added to our Marian Notebooks.  The poem is today’s copywork on paper with the images pre-printed on it in a Word document. If I have time I will post the document later!  It dovetails nicely into tomorrow’s lesson…with another book image for Fine Art Friday’s  Fine Art-spirations!

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