Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Monday, May 07, 2012

Virgin most Powerful, pray for us

Marianne Stokes
Madonna of the Fir Tree, 1925

The symbolism of this painting is interesting. The Blessed Mother wears red, a color she is not usually pictured in, but red is associated with power and importance. The fir tree: The fir tree is a symbol of the elect in Heaven, who despise lowly desires. It also symbolizes people who excel in the virtue of patience. The black bird: the black feathers and melodious song represented the temptation of sin. Tradition tells us that one day when St. Benedict was praying the Devil appeared to him in the form of a blackbird which tried to divert him from his devotions. St. Benedict was not fooled: he made the Sign of the Cross and the Devil departed in haste.

”Not only do they offend thee, O Lady, who outrage thee, but thou art also offended by those who neglect to ask thy favors . . . He who neglects the service of the Blessed Virgin will die in his sins . . . He who does not invoke thee, O Lady, will never get to Heaven . . . Not only will those from whom Mary turns her countenance not be saved, but there will be no hope of their salvation . . . No one can be saved without the protection of Mary." --Saint Bonaventure, Cardinal-Bishop and Doctor of the Church


  1. Beautiful--both the image and the meditation. I've been thinking a lot about St. Benedict lately, and about the wisdom & beauty of his Rule.

    Blessed 2nd week in May, Barbara! "Angela" loved your rosary!

  2. I really love this painting. I sent Christmas cards with this lovely image of Mary and Jesus one year. Thanks for explaining the significance of the image.

  3. Oh my goodness! I love this painting...it's gorgeous! I've never seen it before! Thanks, Barbara!


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!