THE SHRINE TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Mary with the Child Jesus
Just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life (I Corinthians 15: 22)
The Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary dates from 1994. The image
of Mary holding the child Jesus is considerably older—it was carved by
Italian craftsmen in the mid-19th century, and is based on a medieval
altarpiece from Blaubeuren, Germany. Mary shows us the Child Jesus, who
holds in his hand the fruit that recalls humanity’s fall from grace.
Just as Christ is the new Adam, so Mary is the new Eve, bringing new
life to the world.
Listen to me now and come to me, old Eve, our mother of old; raise
your head, the head that was humiliated by the shame of an orchard.
Uncover your countenance and be happy with yourself, because you have
flung away your shame. Listen to words full of peace, because a daughter
of yours has paid your debt. The serpent who seduced you has been
crushed by you. For your sake the cherubim and his sword have been
withdrawn, so that Adam can return to the paradise from which he had
been expelled. Adam and Eve will turn to you and gather from me the
fruit of life; through you he will recover the sweetness of his lips,
which the forbidden fruit had turned bitter. –Saint Ephraem the Syrian,
“Mary’s Cradle Song”
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious Advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
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