Tuesday, December 12, 2006



I am generally not partial to images of the Blessed Mother without her carrying the Christ Child. The absence of Her Son has long struck me as a potential micro-step toward a sort of Catholic goddess-worship -- Mariolatry, if you will -- which I realize may sound silly, so I don't make much of those who believe otherwise.

But I make one exception, and that's the image used to commemorate today's Feast. Don't ask me why. You can read all about it at sancta.org, so I don't have to write about it.

But not before I mention two things.

Contrary to what some dime-store theologian disguised as a pastoral associate is telling your children in Catholic school right about now, the native peoples' customs were not suppressed by their Catholic conquerors. In fact, the Aztecs were all too happy to have been relieved of being victims of human sacrifices where their hearts were cut out while they were still alive, so much so as to have participated in what may have been the largest single mass conversion in Christendom.

Furthermore, and on a lighter note, when Juan Diego opened his cloak for the bishop, and the venerable image appeared, the roses hidden in the cloak came falling out. But that wasn't the end of the miracle. The bishop recognized the roses as being of a variety only found in his native Spanish province of Castile. This was in the days before overnight delivery, by the way.

Now you know the rest of the story.


At 12/12/2006 11:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though this image does not have the Christ child, it has always been the most intensely maternal of Marian images to me.It is the image I seek when Catholic Mom needs a mom.

At 12/12/2006 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

OL Guadalupe is most certainly carrying the Christ-Child. The flower symbol on her belly is the Indian(Aztec) symbol for pregnancy.
NOW you know the rest of the story(well some of it).

At 12/12/2006 12:09:00 PM, Blogger David L Alexander said...

Yo, Chris. I just KNEW there was a reason I made an exception for Guadalupe. Thanks for helping me prove I was right all along.

At 12/12/2006 12:23:00 PM, Anonymous TradCatholicGal said...

You say, "The absence of Her Son has long struck me as a micro-step toward a sort of Catholic goddess-worship -- Mariolatry, if you will -- which I realize may sound silly, so I don't make much of those who believe otherwise."

Yes, this does sound silly. :-) Now, if the image in question was a 'modern' image of Our Lady pictured without Christ, then I can see what you mean - but this?! This is Our Lady of Guadalupe we're talking about!

What about Our Lady of the Rosary? Our Our Lady of Sorrows? Our Lady of Fatima? Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal? Our Lady of Lourdes? Our Lady of LaSalette?

At 12/12/2006 12:48:00 PM, Blogger David L Alexander said...


Ohhh, Mother McCree! DIdn't I just get done saying I don't make much of it? For pity's sakes, it's just a personal preference, not a dogmatic statement. "I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition."

At 12/12/2006 06:50:00 PM, Blogger David L Alexander said...

TCG, thou hast writ:

"If you don't make much of it..."

My, my, but you are the feisty one, aren't you?

I don't suppress comments I don't agree with, but occasionally I put a spotlight on them; sometimes because of why they're wrong, sometimes for the important points they raise. Your latest one is... well, both. Congratulations, kiddo, you've won a guest spotlight on mwbh, due to hit the blogosphere by tomorrow. I'll take on everything point by point. It's gonna be fun. Stay tuned...

At 12/12/2006 10:35:00 PM, Anonymous Charles Silesia said...

A propos of your comment on images of Mary sans child, I remember reading in Alphonse Daudet's "Lettres de mon Moulin" that those on the Languedoc side of the Rhone favored their Madonnas with the Child, while those on the Avignon/Provence side did not...

At 12/13/2006 12:04:00 PM, Blogger iClaudius said...

I don't see any problem with a statue of Our Lady without the Christ child. Do statues of all saints need to include the Christ child to avoid idolatry?

At 12/13/2006 06:08:00 PM, Blogger David L Alexander said...


No. Again, I was stating a personal preference, not a theological challenge, one admittedly based upon experience with certain excesses within the Marian movement. The situation of other saints does not compare. More on that later.

At 12/14/2006 07:20:00 PM, Anonymous Jane M said...

Late to the party, as usual. Another thing that goes with the flower showing her pregnancy is the way the belt is tied BUT the color pink of her dress is the color of a virgin so her appearance said right away, "the virgin bearing a child". Pretty cool.


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