And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
For, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
(Luke 1:46-48, KJV)
May is the month of the Virgin Mary. The Mother of Christ has little to say in the New Testament, but the words she does speak after the Angel Gabriel appears to tell her she has been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah have come down to us in the beautiful liturgical hymn, Magnificat. For the next four weeks, I will be presenting passages from this soliloquy in the opening chapter of the Gospel of Luke with a quartet of new Marian images from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. My first featured work is an etching by Czech Printmaker Bohuslav Knobloch showing the seated Virgin Mary, struggling to hold the squirming Baby Jesus, which pays homage to many Enthroned Madonna sculptures carved across Medieval Europe to meet the needs of the of faithful involved in the popular cult of devotion to the Mother of Christ. The small format print can be found in the gallery of the East European Ex-Libris page in the Schools of Sacred Art Section. (John Kohan)