All through the lawns and along the Abbey pathways the weed called broadleaf plantain grows in profusion. We were amazed to find it pictured at the very bottom of this painting of The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Gerard David. We learned that the broadleaf plantain has long been used medicinally. The "bruised" leaves supposedly have a healing effect when placed on small cuts, insect bites, stings, and blisters. Fittingly then the artist paints the plantain below the Christ Child as a reference to the healing that he comes to bring us. As we celebrate Mary's birthday we recall that she is the gateway for us to all the healing that only Christ can give.
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, Gerard David (Netherlandish, ca. 1455–1523), oil on wood, 20" x 17.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Used with permission.