The Virgin is one of the main symbols of eternal love and she is adored in many countries. Of course, people have created numerous images Mary. Interestingly, apart from depicting the major idea these icons reflect social, cultural and even political peculiarities of people.
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For instance, one of the modern depictions of Mary, The Virgin Mary which is in The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles), reveals contemporary religious beliefs of Americans (Hibachirama). As for the symbolic attributes of the icon, it has only one. The Virgin has a halo which symbolizes her holiness.
Notably, Mary is wearing a simple dress which expresses the contemporary notion about The Mother of God: the holy woman who does not need any adornment for Her beauty since she is divinely beautiful, kind and helpful for everyone who addresses her. Mary’s open arms denote that everyone who needs support is welcome. This icon communicates the following social message: the true faith cannot have any kind of decoration since it is as simple as heart beating.
Another example of the image of Mary is more conventional and it reflects the notion of Catholic image of The Virgin (Nolla). This icon adorns Monastery of Fitero (Spain). This conventional icon has such symbolic attributes as a crown, a throne. Mary also holds Her Son in her arms.
All these details reveal conventional notion about The Virgin: the mother of the God who is divine. It is stressed that she is very powerful, so she can support and defend anyone. This image communicates the following message: Maria is one of the most powerful saints and she can be addressed to with the help of the Church where She is present. Basically, this message is more political since it promulgates the power of religion and the power of the Church.
However, the next image to be considered is the most conspicuous one (EvalCarrion). This is the image of The Virgin in the cathedral in Almeria (Spain). The Virgin has several symbolic attributes. She has a crown which can be also taken for halo. Of course, this stresses Her power and her significance for all Catholics. She has beads and this also contributes to the image of holiness since She is also praying.
The Virgin stands on a beautiful silver pedestal which denotes that she belongs to heaven and is quite distant from the simple mortals. Remarkably, Mary is wearing a beautiful gown which also expresses her divine power. At the same time the image reflects quite interesting social and political visions.
The Virgin is splendidly dressed and has a gorgeous crown which reveals the idea that Holy People, who are good and powerful, are rich. Wealth which is one of the characteristic features of the icon is not regarded as something to be condemned. As far as the message communicated by the icon is concerned, it is possible to point out social and political messages which stress the unity of divine power and the Church. Thus, the wealth of the Church is only the reflection of the power of the Holy Mother.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the icons of Mary reflect the major vision of those who created the images. Each icon communicates certain message which every faithful individual is exposed to, be it promulgation of true faith without anything else or the power of the Church.
EvalCarrion. “Madre del Salvador.” Photograph. Flickr, n.d. Web. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5036920231>
Hibachirama. “Our Lady of the Angels: A Modern Virgin Mary, Los Angeles Cathedral.” Photograph. Flickr, n.d. Web. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/hibachirama/2713177618/>
Nolla, Juan. “Maria.- Santa.” Photograph. Flickr, n.d. Web. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/juanobe/3873439321/>