UNBORN WORD of the day

Visitation by Bradi Barth

Unborn Word of the Day has received permission to post  Visitation by Bradi Barth* copyright “BRADI BARTH” and “@HERBRONNEN vzw {www.bradi-barth.org)  Click on painting for full view.

“…God loved the world so much that he gave his son – it was a giving – it is as much as if to say it hurt God to give, because he loved the world so much that he gave his son, and he gave him to Virgin Mary, and what did she do with him?

As soon as he came in her life – immediately she went in haste to give that good news, and as she came into the house of her cousin, the child – the unborn child – the child in the womb of Elizabeth, leapt with joy. He was that little unborn child…was the first messenger of peace. He recognized the Prince of Peace, he recognized that Christ has come to bring the good news for you and for me.”

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, December 1979


*We would encourage our readers to visit the Bradi Barth’s website: Bradi-Barth.org Bradi Barth (1922-2007) was an amazing Catholic artist. She was born in Switzerland but lived most of her life in Belgium. Her art is rich in tradition, amazingly unique and awe-inspiring.

In October 2000 Bradi Barth started her foundation “HERBRONNEN vzw”, fixing clearly its mission and goals:

  • Evangelization in the largest sense – Support for the missions – In Union with the Pope of Rome –  In Union with Christ – Under the protection of the Holy Virgin Mary

How Ordinary!
October 20, 2010, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Incarnation, Mother of the Lord, Unborn Jesus

Johann Michael Rottmayr, Virgin Sewing, 1712, Mattsee, Stiftsmuseum – From the Mary Expectant with Child Exhibit, Dommuseum Zu Salzburg

“Yes, it certainly seemed that God wanted to give the world the impression that it is ordinary for Him to be born of a human creature. Well, that is a fact. God did mean it to be the ordinary thing, for it is His will that Christ shall be born in every human being’s life and not, as a rule, through extraordinary things, but through the ordinary daily life and the human love that people give to one another.”

The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander

A Tribute to St. Luke for his infancy narratives
October 18, 2010, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, Pro-life, Saints


Michele Tosini (1503-77) St. Luke

October 18 is the feast day of St. Luke.

In chapters One and Two of the Gospel of St. Luke we have 127 verses of narrative concerning the infancy and childhood of Jesus Christ and mysteries surrounding His infancy (Lk 1:5 – 2:52). These verses are unique to Luke and outline the earliest vignettes known about the childhood of Jesus Christ. The verses restricted to the infancy period are slightly less: 114 verses (Lk 1:5 – Lk 2:39).

The extraordinary account of the Annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel, for example, is presented only in Luke and no where else. Likewise, the remarkable Visitation event (and Magnificat “song”) and Bethlehem birth saga are Lukan treasures only. Which might lead us to wonder how would Christianity be different if there was no Luke? Would we celebrate Christmas? (Matthew also provides 47 verses of invaluable introductory information as well concerning Mary, Joseph and Jesus, before and after the birth. Mt 1:18 – 2:23)

We are indebted to Luke in a thousand ways, but especially for the first two chapters of his Gospel which are in a way a “prologue”, comparable to the famous “Prologue” to the Gospel of John (Jn 1:1-18): “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…” But while the Prologue of John is about Mysteries and realities concerning the Word Incarnate, this “prologue” of Luke’s is focused on biological and historical events which reveal the Child Incarnate. While John is mystical, Luke is highly personal yet supernatural. All of this is to say that, the Incarnation Mystery of faith is so wondrous, that we need both Luke and John to unfold for us its beauty and reality. We can listen to John’s Prologue and see it with the eyes of the heart, but Luke’s we visualize all in fabulous images.

But it is only Luke who reveals to us the babyhood of Jesus and the attendant mysteries thereto. Luke is one of the Church’s great “Pro – Life” saints! There is no way around it. He alone tells of the conception of Jesus Christ, paints for us the tender mother who opens up her heart and soul to God’s plan and Spirit, then recounts the mysterious encounter between pregnant mothers and unborn children and finally recounts in all its poverty and glory the birth of humankind’s Savior in a manger.

St. Luke we thank you for the little details you carefully recorded about our Savior’s first nine months in the womb and then in the manger. You, St. Luke, have brought more tears of joy to human eyes than any other author in human history. You have revealed to us the mother of the baby Jesus and have transported us in our thoughts to kneel beside the beasts and shepherds, beneath the angels’ meditative gaze. It was first your descriptive words which gave rise to those Christmas hymns we sing now that cause our hearts to bow down in adoration again.

St. Luke, when we see you in heaven, we will get in that very long reception line of pro-life Christians who want to shake your hand, the hand which wrote down the sacred events of our Savior’s babyhood, events which gave us hope for all our earthly days.


El Greco (1541-1614) St. Luke (detail)

She carried Love Incarnate in Her womb
October 16, 2010, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Saints, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

La Vierge Enceinte Daniel Hallé

Église paroissiale Saint-Pierre, Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours

Commenting on the passage where “a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts that You sucked!” (Lk 11:27), the holy doctor (St. Anthony) says

“Blessed, therefore, is the womb of the glorious Virgin who for nine months was worthy to carry all goodness, the highest goodness, the bliss of angels and reconciliation of sinners.”

Elsewhere he writes that  “She possessed within Her the compactness of love—for nine months She carried Love Incarnate in Her womb.”

From The Marian Devotion of St. Anthony of Padua

“There was silence in Heaven, as it were for half an hour”
October 12, 2010, 12:14 am
Filed under: Biblical Reflections, The Eucharist

The Disputation over the Blessed Sacrament (or more appropriately, The Triumph of Religion), painted by Raphael between 1508 and 1511,

“There was silence in Heaven, as it were for half an hour” (Apoc. viii. I)

“Thus the Holy Spirit moves St. John to write in the Apocalypse. He speaks of time in that state where time is no more. He speaks of silence where :”they cease not day and night” to sing the praises of the Lamb, because He wants to bring within reach of our intelligence a fact-and that fact is, that there was wonder in Heaven, so great that, so to speak, the ordinary course of things was stopped.

The Beloved Disciple does not tell us what it was that caused this silence in Heaven, but it may well have been when “the Angels and Archangels and all the company of Heaven, saw a wonder even greater than they saw when the silent Word leaped down from Heaven (Wisdom xviii. 15) to dwell in the womb of the sinless Virgin.

Could any wonder be greater than this? Yes. All the company of Heaven is looking intently once more, and they see their Creator, their God, the Word made Flesh entering into one of his sinful creatures to be his Food-to feed his spiritual life. And “there is silence in Heaven” as they look upon a sight so stupendous.”

Simple Meditations by Mother St. Paul pages 93-94.

St. Clare and St. Francis Infants in the womb
October 2, 2010, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Prayer, Saints

October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis  of Assisi.  To  celebrate the day we would like to recount two obscure stories about St. Clare and St. Francis while they were still in the womb or about to be born.

Hortulana, St. Clare’s Mother Praying for a Safe Delivery.

Note unborn Clare

It is said that St. Clare received the name Clare, which means clear or bright, for the following reason. While her mother Hortulana, was kneeling before a crucifix, praying that God might aid her in her hour of delivery, she heard the words : ” Do not fear. You will give birth to a light which shall illumine the whole world.”

Scenes from the Life of St Francis (Scene 1, north wall) Benozzo Gozzoli 1452 Apsidal chapel, San Francesco, Montefalco

There is a legend about  the birth of St. Francis.  Lady Pica, (his mother) was finding her labor to be particularly difficult. Her husband was abroad in France on one of his business trips, and she was at home with only her household staff in attendance. Whether it was her idea, or another’s, the thought came that perhaps a walk would be good, and so she set out a short distance to the nearby stable. Apparently it did the trick. The baby Francis hastened his entrance into the world, and ended up being born in the stable.