Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year

January First is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. With our Blessed Lady to lead us, we begin a new year, praying for a year of continual prayer, a year of peace in our hearts, a peace that will spread through all the land and to all nations. Mary gives us Jesus, who is our Peace.

Photograph by Brother Brian of Saint Ann's altar in the Abbey church. The altarpiece is in tempera on wood, Fifteenth century, Sienese and was given to the monastery in 1952. The central image is of the Madonna of Humility. Simone Martini (c. 1283-1344) is credited with the invention of this iconographical type; and our altarpiece is thought to be a copy of one of Simone's masterpieces. The Virgin is shown seated on a cushion on the floor as she nurses the Christ Child, who relaxes on her lap as he gazes out at us.