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 Post subject: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:06 pm 
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I will post a photo next week but i wanted to hear opinions on this.

Last week a new statue was placed in our new church. It is all white, (looks like bright white plaster). It is the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is dressed as you might normally see her depicted, flowing robe with a hood. The statue larger than lifesize, maybe 8' tall. After a moment it becomes clear to the viewer that she is pregnant. Her hand rests on her stomach in a fashion typical of a pregnant woman.

Some parishiners are disturbed by this statue. I have no problem with it.

What is your opinion?


Last edited by CommonMan on Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:07 pm 
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I'd have to see it. But Our Lady of Guadalupe is supposed to be pregnant.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:13 pm 
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I thought this thread was going to be about a consecrated virgin who was pregnant. I could definitely see why that would cause a stir...


I can't really understand how a tasteful statue of Our Lady pregnant would be an issue, though. I mean, Our Lady was pregnant with Jesus. If the statue isn't tasteful, then that's a whole 'nother issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:14 pm 
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a full look at the symbolism can be found at ...

http://www.bridegroompress.com/snippets/guadhandout.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:41 pm 
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I think it sounds beautiful!

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:03 pm 
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It is beautiful.

I have looked (googled) for such a an image. I have found no paintings or statues of Mary obviously pregnant. That suprises me.


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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Do you know the reason(s) people give for objecting?

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:29 pm 
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CommonMan wrote:
It is beautiful.

I have looked (googled) for such a an image. I have found no paintings or statues of Mary obviously pregnant. That suprises me.


There are tons. You have to google images.

Here is a stained glass depiction and a statue of the pregnant Mary in France.

Lisa


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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:39 pm 
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I rather applaud it.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:13 pm 
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We saw images of the pregnant Virgin in Spain quite a bit. It struck me as an odd comment on our society that the same images are so rare here. The ultimate contradiction: for such a sex obsessed people we are awfully uncomfortable with the sight of a pregnant woman.


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 Post subject: Pelikan: depictions of pregnant Mary countered Gnostic belie
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:03 pm 
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Gnostics believed, as Tertullian told in The Flesh of Christ (between 208-212), that Jesus was born through a virgin, not of her; that he dwelled in her womb, but was not of her womb…(The Flesh of Christ 20, 1, Patrologiae cursus completus 2, 830-831, Series Latina (Paris: Migne, 1841-1864) in Fr. Luigi Gambero (translation from Italian by Thomas Buffer), Mary and the Fathers of the Church, 1999, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, p. 63). Eventually, Christian art portraying the pregnant Mary countered this tendency (Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Mary Through the Centuries, 1996, Yale University Press, New Haven, p. 48).

By the way, some of Tertullian’s judgements about the Virgin Mary – he denied her perpetual virginity, for example – seem to be an excessive reaction against the Gnostics. Of the four ancient writers [all in the third and fourth centuries] who thought that the ‘brothers’ [of the Lord] were Mary’s sons, Tertullian eventually left the Church and the other three [Jovinian, Helvidius and Bonosus] were officially repudiated in their time (Fr. Michael O'Carroll, Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1982, A Michael Glazier Book, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, p. 88)).

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:17 pm 
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Paintings and sculptures of the Visitation are common in traditional Catholic art from over the centuries, such as this one, in which Our Lady is obviously pregnant. Nothing at all wrong with this.

One of my favorite Byzantine icons is Our Lady of the Sign, in which Our Lord is visible but appears to be as yet unborn.

Objecting to Christ being portrayed in the womb, is like objecting to him being portrayed on the cross. Such objections are without foundation.


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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:10 am 
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Lisa1515 wrote:
CommonMan wrote:
It is beautiful.

I have looked (googled) for such a an image. I have found no paintings or statues of Mary obviously pregnant. That suprises me.


There are tons. You have to google images.

Here is a stained glass depiction and a statue of the pregnant Mary in France.

Lisa


I don't think there are tons. I found three. The second one you posted I did find, that one is close to the look of our statue.

I don't know who are the folks objecting but I imagine they are long time Catholics who have never seen a statue of Our Lady where she was pregnant. I admit, it is the first time I have ever seen such a depiction. I was plesantly surprised, but still surprised.

I think folks become comfortable with images & icons they grew up with. They expect Christ to look a certain way on a crucifix. They expect Him to always look serene too. An image of Christ laughing can be startling to some. I can somewhat recall a memory from my chilldhood when I saw a drawing of Christ in anger. It didn't fit my image of Him at that time and it was troubling.

As far as US churches go (Catholic of course) I think such a statue is rare and will always be so.


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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:11 am 
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Quote:
I will post a photo next week but i wanted to hear opinions on this.


I look forward to the photo.

While I am not shocked by the concept, I am rather dubious about the ability of 'modern' art and sculpture to impart the true message. I have seen far to many modern statues of Christ, making him look weak and feminine.

Chesterton had the right view of modern art.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:43 am 
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Charles, modern art is all bosh, isn't it?

Great bosh, Cordelia.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:59 am 
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Isn't there somewhere a picture of a 'laughing Madonna and child'? :?: I don't remember seeing it myself but I have read references about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:14 am 
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Not having seen the actual art, I am disturbed that people are disturbed. by this. Baffled in fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:15 am 
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I suppose I would have to see it...

but off hand, I can't imagine why it would cause a stir?

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:27 am 
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Google images for "Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth" - you will see many works of a pregnant Mary. There is a lovely print of one in our Adoration Chapel - aptly named "The Visitation Chapel".

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 Post subject: Re: Pregnant Virgin causes a stir
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:40 am 
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kage_ar wrote:
Google images for "Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth" - you will see many works of a pregnant Mary. There is a lovely print of one in our Adoration Chapel - aptly named "The Visitation Chapel".


Yes, a number of paintings depict this.

I am nit picking a bit here; Elizabeth was nearing the end of her second term when Mary came to see her. From what I have read, Mary was carrying the Christ child for only a month or so. Yet in the paintings Mary is shown rather obviously pregnant, equal or even further along then Elizabeth. Not that a painter must be accurate when portraying biblical images as we know from Da Vinci's famous work.


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