UNBORN WORD of the day


Pregnant Virgin 1500 -1600, Cistercian convent, St.Marienstern Panschwitz-Kuckau Germany
December 15, 2012, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Advent, Mother of the Lord, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

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Cistercian convent, St.Marienstern

statue of Mary with Jesus in womb

Pregnant Virgin

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Maria in der Hoffnung

Our Lady Expecting, Our Lady of Hope

Pregnant Virgin

In 1996, Medievalist, Markus Bauer visited the Cistercian convent, St. Marienstern, in Panschwitz-Kuckau — a small village with a population of 2400 and located in the Sachsen part of the Lausitz area in search of material for an historical exhibit. The historian found three sculptures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, each with an opening in the stomach, where the viewer could see a miniature carving of the unborn Christ Child.

Such sculptures were highly valued devotional objects in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 19th century, this type of devotional image no longer spoke to the souls of the sisters in the same way, so they hung a cloth over the stomach opening, or they nailed the opening closed. Since the covering for one of these Marian figures was missing, it was put away in a remote cell, where it stayed to the present time.

“It would simply weary the reader to repeat almost word for word this description of our dearest Lord’s life in the Womb, changing the phrases to apply it to the Blessed Sacrament. The parallel is so complete, that it must already have suggested itself; and I have dwelt upon it at greater length, because, as the devotion to the life in the womb is especially a devotion of interior souls, so the corresponding thoughts with regard to the Blessed Sacrament are those which are most familiar to interior souls in their prayers before the tabernacle; and again as all the mysteries of the Sacred Infancy take their color and character from the life in the womb, to establish the analogy between it and the Blessed Sacrament is in truth to establish the analogy between the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacred Infancy altogether.”   The Blessed Sacrament, Fr. F. W. Faber



Visitation panel St. James Altarpiece 1430 National Gallery of Prague (Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia) Prague Czech Republic
December 15, 2012, 10:03 am
Filed under: Advent, Incarnation, Mother of the Lord, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

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National Gallery of Prague  (Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia)

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St. James Altarpiece ( a few panels)

St. James Altarpiece Scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary and St. James the Great

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Visitation panel St. James Altarpiece

An altarpiece is a picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting. It is then called a diptych, triptych or polyptych for two, three, and multiple panels respectively.

“We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. ‘Those days’ in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was His impulse.” Caryll Houselander  The Reed of God



Heimsuchung von Maria und Elisabeth (the “Visitation”) 1460, Kremsmünster Abbey, Kremsmünster, Upper Austria
December 14, 2012, 12:22 am
Filed under: Advent, Mother of the Lord, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

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Kremsmünster Abbey

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Heimsuchung von Maria und Elisabeth (Mary and Elisabeth Meeting)

In Christian art Mary’s pregnancy was broached not only in scenes with Jesus as an unborn child but also in pictures of the virgin mother by herself or in association with the Eucharist. Depending on how realistic or symbolic the picture was meant to be, her pregnancy was made evident as a rounded belly, by showing the figure of a child, or by having “IHS” marked on Mary’s stomach.

The original portrayal of this theme was the veneration with which, during her pregnancy, Elisabeth greeted Mary: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1,42) This Bible text became widespread due to the “Ave Maria” (Hail Mary) which became part of the Advent liturgy in the 7th and 8th centuries and as of the 13th century had become one of the most important Christian prayers. In medieval times portrayals of Mary and Elisabeth meeting (the “Visitation”) became very common. From around the year 1300 the children were shown in front of their mothers’ bellies as can be seen in this painting from Kremsmünster (around 1460).

“John was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb’ by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 8, 717.



Verkündigung Die Ungeborenen Jesus Artist: Friedrich Herlin 1462, Stadtmuseum Nördlingen Germany
December 13, 2012, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Advent, Mother of the Lord, The Incarnation, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

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Stadtmuseum – Nördlingen,Germany

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Flügel des Hochaltars aus St. Georg (Wing of the high altar of St. George) Full Altar wing

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Verkündigung Die Ungeborenen Jesus (detail of Altar wing)

The wings of the high altar of St. George’s Church (1462) 1462 were a complex altarpiece created by Friedrich Herlin for the Church of St. George, where he acted not only as painter of the panels, but also as an entrepreneur who co-ordinated the other artisans and carpenters.  This Visitation detail show another common way unborn Jesus and John were recognized in Visitation paintings of this period. Light is emanating from the wombs of the two mothers.

When the Angel appeared to Zachariah – he made a number of predictions about John the Baptist before his conception. One was “He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother s womb” (Luke 1: 15) Here is what one writer says about the fulfillment of this Angelic pronouncement.

“Six months later, Elizabeth who had been waiting in solitude and silence for God to fulfil His designs, received a visit from the Mother of God, and the Precursor and the Messias Who was to come were brought into close contact. We cannot doubt that it was at that moment when, as Elizabeth said “the infant in my womb leaped for joy”, that John was “filled with the Holy Ghost”. Thus God cleansed His Precursor before his birth from the stain of original sin, again showing us that those who are to prepare for the Coming of His Son must be distinguished by their purity.” Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi, p. 35.



Visitation on Cloth (Detail of Altar cloth) 1410, Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfort, Germany
December 12, 2012, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Advent, Incarnation, Mother of the Lord, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

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Museum of Applied Arts-Frankfort, Germany

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Antependium, or altar cloth hanging of tapestry woven in colored wools (Full Tapestry)

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Visitation – Detail from Frontal – German – wool, linen and silk

An antependium (Latin: “to hang before”), more commonly known as a hanging cloth, or, when speaking specifically of the hanging for the altar, an altar frontal (Latin: pallium altaris), is a decorative piece of material that can adorn a Christian altar, lectern, pulpit, or table. Specifically, an antependium hangs down in front of whatever it covers, and is to be distinguished from the altar linens which are used in the service of the Eucharist, and an altar cloth which covers the top of the altar.

“One of the most beautiful moments in history was that when pregnancy met pregnancy when child bearers became the first heralds of the King of Kings.” Archbishop Fulton Sheen, The World’s First Love.

“Now Elizabeth didn’t recognize what was in Mary’s womb as a “fetus.” No One less than God the Holy Spirit gave Elizabeth the gift to recognize that what was alive in her cousin’s womb, was already a person. And that person was her Lord (God).”  Charles Hoffman, The Holy Rosary Rich in Jewish Tradition



OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE AND UNBORN JESUS
December 11, 2012, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Advent, Mother of the Lord, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

One of the best known representations of Mary’s pregnancy is the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  This image is in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

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It is commonly thought that Our Lady is pregnant in this miraculous image given to Juan Diego in December, 1531.

Miguel Sanchez, the author of the 1648 tract Imagen de la Virgen María, described her (Our Lady of Guadalupe) as the Woman of the Apocalypse from the New Testament’s Revelation 12:1-2 “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child…

We also know she was with child in this image because she wears a black belt which was the Aztec Maternity Belt.

Father Frank Pavone points out that “In the image, Our Lady is pregnant, carrying the Son of God in her womb. Her head is bowed in homage, indicating that she is not the Goddess, but rather the one who bears and at the same time worships the one true God.” Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Pro-life Movement

Another indication that it has been widely held that the Guadalupe image was of Mary pregnant is the Anonymous Cuzqueño 18th century painting, Mary Immaculate with the Child Jesus in the womb. Private Collection, Lima, Peru. This work is included in “Colonial Art Book Iconography” by Hector Schenone. The image has the unborn Christ child included in an image that is reminiscent of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

18th century Mary Immaculate Jesus in womb



Virgin of Quinau with Unborn Christ 1300,Trutzhain-Quinauer pilgrimage shrine, Trutzhain,Germany
December 10, 2012, 9:05 pm
Filed under: Advent, Mother of the Lord, Unborn Jesus

AROUND THE WORLD AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES WITH THE UNBORN CHRIST CHILD

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Trutzhain-Quinauer pilgrimage Shrine

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Virgin of Quinau with Unborn Christ

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St. Mariahilf (St. Mary Our Help Parish), Trutzhain,Germany

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The Trutzhain Madonna – ‘Mater gravida’. She is the ‘pregnant Madonna’ with the infant Jesus under her heart

This was a new version Of theQuinauer Madonna. 1987 artist: Uhrissen Anton

July 2, the Feast of the Visitation is the feast day of the sanctuary in the lower Quinau. It is a time for the pilgrims to honor the miraculous Virgin of Quinau. During  the pilgrimage season pilgrims come daily  in fancy dress from many places in the region to honor the Mother of God.

History of Quinau: The legend of the origin of the statue is as follows: A boy named Joseph kept sheep for his master on the spot where the church now stands. Once, the normally pious boy cursed while taking care of  the cattle. Then came a voice: “Joseph, cease your anger and cursing, you insult my son, Jesus”.  Startled, Joseph turned his face in the direction from which the voice came and he saw the statue of Mary in a rocky niche . The boy fell to his knees and begged for forgiveness. Then he built a little chapel with stones and shrubs around the statue and performed his devotions there every day.

He concealed his experience for a long time. Then the boy became ill. During his illness, he betrayed his experience while delirious. When he awoke they questioned him and discovered little by little the whole story. The boy expressed the desire to be carried up the mountain to image of the Virgin. This took place on September 4, 1342 . The farmer who employed the boy took the image of Mary to his home. But the next day the statue was gone.  Everyone in his household, denied taking the statue.  After a long search they found the statue again at the previous location. The farmer took it back home and the event repeated itself. A few villagers had now heard of these events.   They wanted to build a chapel in the village. But one day the building material disappeared. It had miraculously been taken to the top of the hill. People saw it as a sign from God and so with the permission of the landowner, Count von Lobkowitz Gallus Babelus, the chapel was built on the mountain top at the apparition site.  St. Mariahilf  a newer Chruch in Trutzhain has a modern version of the statue.

“How could he have shown his mercy more clearly than by taking on himself our condition? For our sake the Word of God became as grass….The incarnation teaches us how much God cares for us and what he thinks and feels about us…The smaller he became through his human nature the greater was his goodness; the more he lowered himself for me, the dearer he is to me.”   St. Bernard, O. Cist., Sermo 1, in Ephiphania Domini, 1 2: PL 133.