The statue of the Virgin Mary found deserves a legitimate home, as grandmother had planned
On this Father’s Day, I would like to talk to mothers. Not just any mother, but the Mother: Mother Marie.
Identify her with reverence as the Blessed Virgin Mary, Madonna, Our Lady of the Rosary, Mary, Queen of Heaven, or Mary, Mother of God, whatever, it’s all good.
When I was little, Mary was everything and everywhere in our family. My Sicilian-born maternal grandmother hung framed photos of Mary all over her house across from my house. She also displayed ceramic figurines of Mary everywhere. When my cousins and I were playing with our little green plastic soldiers on Grandma’s living room floor, we would often recruit Ceramic Mary to join the squad when Grandma wasn’t looking. You know, it was Mary, so we couldn’t lose the war, right? Grandma gave Mary a reprieve. Rated sound Step 4-F: Step 4 Floor.
A statue of Mary was on display prominently in Grandma’s courtyard inside a cave, as was the tradition with many families in our neighborhood and suburban Philadelphia for the 26 years we have lived. here. Mary’s bowed head was covered with a white hood and she looked down in humility. She wore a cream dress and a light blue, white, and peach dress, and stood barefoot on the neck of a snake. Grandmother sat down in front of the Virgin every day, rosary in hand, and said her prayers in the courtyard.
Over the years and after Grandma left to pray beyond the clouds, I often wondered what happened to the statue of Mary.
Now I know.
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There, hidden by an old quilt on the floor of a small closet in our late parents’ bedroom in my childhood home, was Mary. I discovered it, both literally and figuratively, when my brother and I recently finished cleaning the house for sale. I propped Mary up and sat down beside her, warmed by her beauty and representation. I remembered Grandma and the cave and how she helped us kids win the war from the living room floor. As that old movie title noted, there’s something about Mary.
On the back of the base of the statue is CS 113. I searched it on Google to try to find out more about Mary. CS stands for Columbia Statuary Co., Italy. The statue of Mary and the grandmother share a similar past.
As I propped up the statue of Mary under one arm and left the room, it hit me: what am I doing with Mary? I can’t leave her there. Do not have a yard big enough in your home for a cave. I can’t throw it away with the rest of the old dishes and chairs. What do I do?
Growing up in the Catholic Church, I learned how dispose old or broken religious objects such as Palm Sunday palm trees, rosaries and scapulars, images of Jesus and saints. You burn them or bury them.
Although I understand this is protocol, I don’t feel good about burying the statue of Mary. It is far too beautiful and meaningful. Once a religious object is blessed and dedicated to divine worship or worship, it should be treated with reverence. Remembering Grandma’s devotion to her, I’m sure she blessed him.
So, I need your help. It is out of the question to sell it online. I must find a home for Mary. Not only is she the only central female figure in Christianity and Catholicism, she is the most important female figure in Western culture. It deserves to remain visual, somewhere. Maybe a church grove, maybe another grandmother’s garden, but certainly not under a blanket in a dark closet.
A final note: The condition of my statue of Mary is perfect.
A bit like the lady herself.
Columnist Phil Gianficaro can be reached at 215-345-3078, [email protected] and @philgianficaro on Twitter.