Since New Year’s Day is the Feast Day of Mary Mother of God – a holy day in the Catholic church, it is appropriate to share this hymn which was the inspiration for many of the paintings I made this past year.
Mary the dawn, Christ the perfect day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the heavenly Way.
Mary the Root, Christ the mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the sacred Wine.
Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the living Bread;
Mary the Rose tree, Christ the Rose blood-red.
Mary the Font, Christ the cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the saving Blood.
Mary the Temple, Christ the temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored.
Mary the Beacon, Christ the haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision blest.
– Medieval Hymn
found in Divine Mirrors: The Virgin Mary in Visual Art,
ed. Melissa Katz, Oxford University Press
During the Artist-in-Residency I had at Valparaiso University in December I continued my series of paintings about the Virgin Mary.
The painting below entitled Mary the Font (from the poem above) was inspired by the baptistery and baptismal font (right) in the Chapel of the Resurrection where I was working, and it evokes a sense of the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary at the Annunciation.
Download a free printable copy of the poem together with the painting here.