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The Murom Icon of the Mother of God
“Behold the father is his daughter’s son/The bird that built the nest is hatch’d therein/
Might feeble is and force doth faintly creep/Up, heavy hearts, with joy your joy embrace/ This life, this light, this Word, this joy repairs ...”
Holy Martyr St Robert Southwell, SJ : taken from his 16th. Century poem “The Nativity of Christ”
“To place the year under the protection of her motherhood means that we are asking her, as brothers and sisters of Jesus and therefore as Mary’s children, for an enduring understanding of lasting discipleship of Jesus...with limitless love the Mother of the Lord views us as her children and blesses us. In the New Testament this blessing cannot be separated from her Child’s blessing and from the entire triune God, so deeply is her motherhood grounded in and surrounded by divine fruitfulness. She blesses us both as personal mother of Jesus and as the epitome of the ‘immaculate’ Church (Ephesians 5:27) who is Jesus’ Bride.”
Swiss Theologian Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (12 August 1905-26 June 1988)
For 1 January, the feast day of Mary, Mother of God
This icon was created right during and after, the horrific Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck off the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan in March of 2011. Somehow I felt the waves were unconsciously reflected in the lower folds of Mary’s maphorion (outer garment) in this Murom Icon. Any contemporary news of suffering always appears in the icons in some way or other. I know Our Mother grieves with her wounded children . Join me please, in praying to the Mother of God for all affected by recent fires and other tragic disasters all around the world.
“Hail Mary full of grace
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst
women, and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at
the hour of our death.
A blessed New Year of 2022 ! 💮 Fr Bill McNichols