La Virgen niña dormida
Francisco de Zurbaran - The Virgin Mary as a Child, Asleep
The lovely sleeping young girl seems to have come directly out of one of the many canticles or poems composed in Seville in honour of the Virgin during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: “I am a little brown-haired maiden, prettier than the iris and the rose and the flower of the lily”, sings the poet Diego Cortés. The only painter, no doubt, to represent the young girl at such a tender age, Zurbarán sees her haloed with seraphim, glowing with divine love. Mary here adopts the pose of the Virgin of Humility, seated on the ground and resting her face on her left hand.
A roof painting of Mary in the church of the Third Order of Carmel (Igreja da Ordem Terceira do Carmo) in São Paulo, Brazil.
Nossa Senhora do Carmo
The baroque altar of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Carmelite church in Porto, Portugal.
Nuestra Señora de Belén
A Spanish painting of Our Lady of Bethlehem.
Wallfahrtskirche Maria Hilf
The high altar in the pilgrimage church of Maria Hilf in Speiden, Bavaria.
Immacolata di Don Placido
The statue of Mary Immaculate in the basilica of Gesù Vecchio, Naples. In 1826 the Madonna of Don Placido was crowned by the Vatican Chapter and declared the protectress of Naples.
Alma Redemptoris Mater by the Czech baroque composed Jan Dismas Zelenka.
Loving Mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.
Nuestra Señora de la Luz
A Spanish painting of Our Lady of the Light and various Jesuit saints.
The inside of the dome of the basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii, Italy. It depicts Mary’s glorification in heaven by the saints.
The high altar of the Gèsu Nuovo, Naples’ most important Jesuit church. The altar was constructed in the 17th century. The massive marble statue of the Immaculate Conception dates from 1859.
Upon visiting the church, I found the altar and statue quite awe inspiring. It fits perfectly with the Jesuits’ Counter Reformation efforts to create a sacred theatre for the celebration of the liturgy.
You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel; you are the fairest honour of our people.