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» Icons and Holy Cards

Mary the Mother of Priests

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ICM235 8" X 10" ICON ON WOOD





Item Details:

Icon image of Mary the Mother of Priests written by Sr. Marie-Paul Farran, OSB. Sr. Marie-Paul lived with her community on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Wood-mounted icons are on 5/8" ProWood® Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) with a wood-look foil finish, with tee-slots milled in the back for easy hanging. Icons are finished in classic cherry to replicate the traditional icon red, in keeping with Byzantine tradition. (Ancient icon board edges were frequently coated with red bole, a form of clay). Each mounted icon comes with a descriptive pamphlet explaining the symbolism and history of the image.

Please allow 5-10 business days for orders of 20 or more icons.

Our icon designs are also available as unmounted prints in sanctuary-size enlargements up to 38 inches wide. The latest technology enables enlargement without sacrificing quality. We do not currently have the ability to mount these prints on wood or any other material. You may purchase your own frame from a custom frame shop. Call 800-889-0105 for pricing and ordering.

Theology and Symbolism

Besides Christ, no other subject has been more depicted in iconography than Mary, the Theotokos, Greek for “Mother of God,” literally “God-Bearer.”  Priests look to Mary as the perfect model for their existence, invoking her as Mother of the Eternal Priest, and as Protectress of their ministry,“Mary, Mother of Priests.” Sister Marie-Paul's icons may be found in churches and individual collections all over the world.

In this icon, Mary is shown wearing a veil typical of Jewish women of the period, but it also reveals her humility and piety. The color of the veil is red, the color of divinity in Byzantine art, as well as symbolic of nobility and saints. The garments under the veil and robe are green, the color of life and symbolizing earth, hope and Mary’s humanity. Mary, like her son Christ, has a dual nature; she being the Queen of Heaven and Earth.   

As the evangelist Luke records, the angel Gabriel said to Mary: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35)This is illustrated in Mary’s clothing, where the she is wearing red over green garments, symbolic of the overshadowing of God’s grace, the Holy Spirit, at the Annunciation.

The letters in the upper left and right corners, “MP OY,” are an abbreviation of the Greek: Mater Theos – the Mother of God. Through Mary we receive her Son, God in the flesh, Jesus Christ.  Near Mary’s head on the left and right are the words “Marie” and “Mere Des Pretres,” translated as  “Mary” and “Mother of Priests” in French, the language of iconographer, Sr. Marie-Paul, member of a convent of French-speaking Benedictine nuns in Jerusalem.

Mary is holding a priest’s white stole, a liturgical vestment and symbol of the yoke of service, here adorned with three crosses for the Trinity. The color white symbolizes divinity, purity and celibacy, as well as swaddling clothes and burial shrouds. Mary wrapped her divine Baby Jesus in white swaddling clothes, and later did not leave her Son at the foot of the Cross.  So she also remains with a priest throughout all his missions. As guardian of a priest’s dignity and vocation, Mary aids him in living chastely and growing in charity, wisdom, and fortitude. Mary, Mother of Priests, cares for priests with a unique love, seeing in them a great resemblance to the image of her Son, the Eternal High Priest.

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