Our Lady of the Silence

‘A virgin heart’ we wished our friends on the occasion of Christmas 2020. We added an image of the icon of ‘Our Lady of the Silence’, which we asked Liesbeth Smulders to paint for Jan XVII. She worked on the example of the original icon that the sisters of the Mater Ecclesiae abbey on San Giulio painted in 2010. They were inspired by an old Byzantine wall painting of Saint Anna from the 8th century. It once hung in Faras Cathedral, in present-day Sudan, now in the National Museum in Warsaw. Saint Anne is depicted here with her finger on the closed lips.

Iconography
The Mother of God is painted as usual on icons, with a purple cloak (maphorion) on which three stars (fubulae) can be seen. These stars on the hood and shoulders refer to the Trinity in the Mother of God and are also referred to as symbols of her virginity before, during and after the birth of her son. Maria puts her right index finger on her closed lips, a symbol for silence, silence.

Inscriptions
ΜΡ θΥ (‘Mother of God’)
IC XC (‘Jesus Christ

Pope Francis
The icon became known when the Capuchin Father Emiliano Antenucci presented it to Pope Francis in 2019. This hung it in a prominent place in the papal palace, near two elevators that are often used by him. In ZeeVELD it hangs in the chapel with our other icons.

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