Our Lady of Sorrows
This multi-image icon depicts the Our Lady of Sorrows and the Seven Sorrows of Mary. In the central image is the Virgin Mother herself, with seven stars in her halo depicting the seven sorrows, the sacred heart depicted over her chest, and red and white roses at her feet which represent the Hail Marys and Our Fathers of the Seven Sorrows Devotion.
Above Mary, the Holy Trinity are represented: Christ is shown as the sacrificial lamb. God the Father is represented by a hand in the gesture of blessing. The Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove with the tongues of fire of Pentecost emanating from Him.
Around the central image are seven mini icons depicting the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Moving counterclockwise from the upper left, these are:
The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35) in which at the time of Christ’s circumcision at the temple Simeon prophesied that Jesus “is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel” and that Mary’s heart would be pieced by a sword.
The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-21) in which warned by an angel, St. Joseph led the Holy Family to safety from the massacre of the innocents by King Herrod.
The Loss of Jesus for Three Days (Luke 2:41-50) in which Mary and Joseph searched frantically for the last child Jesus, only to find Him debating with the elders in the temple.
The Carrying of the Cross (John 19:17) in which Jesus was forced to carry the means of His own execution to Calvary.
The Crucifixion of Jesus (John 19:18-30) in which Jesus suffered and died for all of our sins.
Jesus Taken Down from the Cross (John 19:39-40) and laid in the arms of His mother in a moment which connects Mary to all mothers who have experienced the loss of a child.
Jesus Laid in the Tomb (John 19:39-42) by Mary and the few followers who had remained faithful to Him to the very end.
Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary dates back to the early Middle Ages in both Western and Eastern Christianity. The feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows is September 15th.
Vivian Imbruglia began to write this icon on the first day of Lent. The writing of an icon is not just an artistic process but a deeply spiritual one, and so creating this icon involved immersing herself in the life and sorrows of Mary for the duration of Lent.
Commissioned for Notre Dame University where it hangs in the Mendoza School of Business, the original icon is 30 inches by 40 inches in size and is decorated with 24-karat gold embossing. AMDG
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