by Br. Andre Love, OSB
This icon of the Tender Mother is based on a prototype which tradition holds to have been painted by St. Luke at Ephesus. In this version, which was modeled after a 19th century rendition from Italy, the image of the Mother and Christ Child is cropped close to allow the viewer to participate in the intimate relationship between the two.
One is drawn to the eyes of the Virgin Mother and led to contemplate, as St Bernard describes, the perfect harmony of “a creature’s adoration of her God and a Mother’s love for her only Son.” Thebeauty of the Christmas season is illustrated by Mary’s hands.