Images and Symbolism
of Our Lady of Grace
I was not raised in any religion, but I have always been fascinated by images: prayer cards, statues and stained glass of the Virgin Mary.
The Filianic Scriptures: Creation Title 1 Chapter 3 Verse 1-2
1. As the rain fell, the light came again, and a rainbow appeared in the sky, shedding its light upon all things. 2. And whereas all things had been silver, now they took on every hue and colour, and the world was beautiful; but it was not so beautiful as it had formerly been.
These verses symbolise the start of gradual journeying away from the Spirit: the Centre: Dea, into more consolidated planes of existence. Therefore because of the rainbow coloured light rays, I think of this image as Di Jana in all the manifest planes of existence.
These are the more traditional images:
These are all modern artworks:
Divine Mother Mary by Patrick Hoenderkamp
Mother Mary Above Ural by Tatiana F. Light
Mother Mary Nebula by Tara Rieke
Detail of Our Lady of Grace, Trompe L’oeil Mural by Michela Mansuino
All of these images portray the Virgin Mary with arms positioned next to her body (like a triangle) with palms flat and open radiating the light of Divine Graces (Energies) downwards.
What does that gesture signify? I could not find any mention of this in Christianity on the internet apart from the brief observation: “…The outstretched hands of Mary are full of all graces and gifts with which she desires to endow people…”
“Gesture of Charity”
(varada) This gesture is also called “Gift bestowing Gesture of Compassion” or “conferring boon” or “grace” mudra. The arm is extended all way down with palm facing outwards. You can find varadamudrâ sometimes also as a left-hand gesture. This is
the mudra of Dhyani Buddha Ratnasamhava, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and (sometimes) standing Buddha Shakyamuni.
Our Lady of Grace, Title Origins
Q: What is the origin of the name of my parish: “Our Lady of Grace”?
A: The name of your particular parish may derive from various sources: a special devotion of the founding pastor, his own creation, so to speak, without reference to a specific title or sanctuary; the wish of immigrants to perpetuate the parish of their old country, etc. You may want to do some research along those lines.
In general, the expression Our Lady of Grace is of medieval origin, especially well known in France, connected frequently with the Marian sanctuary of Cambrai, France. However, the roots of this title are much older. They are of biblical origin where Mary is called kecharitomene: the fully-graced one, the all-graced one (Lk 1:28). The Eastern tradition calls Mary Panhagia (the all-holy one).
The first meaning of Our Lady of Grace refers to her own holiness. But very early on, Mary was invoked as the uniquely blessed one (see the Sub tuum praesidium, fourth century) and as the mother of mercy (see the acathist hymn, perhaps around 530). She is also the one who intercedes for us with God to obtain his grace.