With Mothers Day coming up on Sunday, May 13, 2007, I did not want to let this week go by without linking to an excellent article on the enduring beauty, fascination and mystery of the Shrines of the Black Madonnas found throughout Europe.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
“To many Christians, Mary is the Heavenly Mother of all, and like a good mother she seeks to meet all the needs of her children. Especially as the mysterious “Black Madonna” she allows people to project their hopes, desires, and needs unto her, only to draw them ever deeper into divine mysteries.
“She plays many roles for many different kinds of people: She is the heiress of the thrones of the pre-Christian goddesses. She is the bride of the Christian God, the bride in the Song of Songs [Song of Solomon], who represents all souls seeking union with the Divine and says: “I am black but beautiful.” (1:5). She is a rebel against the establishment, a heavenly therapist, a spiritual guide. As the archetype Dark Mother, she is a symbol of our inner shadow-self when properly integrated. As a black woman, she is a friend to the oppressed and reconciler of all races. She is a healer of all disease, a guide and companion at the time of death. She is the helper of Christ, turned black from carrying our sins with him.”
from “BLACK MADONNAS AND OTHER MYSTERIES OF MARY” by ELLA ROZETT:
And I will include the most beautiful words spoken in the Bible:
“I am black, but comely, [Negra sum sed formosa], O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
“Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vinyards; but mine own vineyards have I not kept.
“If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherd’s tents.
“I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharoah’s chariots.
“Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.
“Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.
“The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.”
from the SONG OF SOLOMON.
Notre Dame de Meymac, Meymac (Correze)