Sunday Shrine–2/2

മലയാളം: ഭരണങ്ങാനത്തെ അൽഫോൻസാ തീർഥാടന കേന്ദ്രം

If that is English, I really need new glasses.

That purple script above my snark is  the description I got with this picture.  Google Translate seems to think it’s English. I beg to differ.  I was hoping I could at least get a language type so I could go further in determining where this is and what it is. Hint: I know it is a language in India, but that only narrows it down so much. They have at least 20-30 different languages, and it doesn’t look like sanscrit or punjab, so I’m lost.

But I’m giving it up to you right now, and I’ll look it up (harder!) during lent for penance.

This  interesting iconography. Here is that a woman holding a book, dressed in that way usually attributable St. Anne. She is the mother of the Blessed Mother. Yet, the Bethlehem star is right up there, which suggests it’s Mary.  Or it might be a figure from a particular religious order, but That’s Another Show.

Tradition states that Mary was raised in the temple. Therefore she was well educated in Tora, and was quite capable of reading and even writing, despite being poor. Not to mention there is a strong argument to be had that the whole reason we have a bible is that St. Matthew and especially Luke had conversations with Mary about what happened in their lives. Luke especially has more detail than he would have known just from the rumor mill. While feminists like to make hay of the fact that Mary didn’t say a lot. Say, she wasn’t running around banishing demons and performing miracles.  Well, that’s because she was too busy being the behind the scenes support for a bunch of insecure apostles.

These (so called) feminists forgot a few things, though.  We know many stories and details in Scripture that only SHE could have known.  Not to mention, it was the Marys who first saw Jesus after his Resurrection.  What can we expect?  Even the Apostles hesitate to believe those Marys.  But here’s the kicker– Jesus had had His Word rely on women to be spread from the VERY beginning.  Mary still said yes, the most important yes in history.

How many books in those days do you think were produced, relying heavily on  the witness of women?  I’ll give you a hint: the Gospels. That’s all.  Because in the ancient world women were considered unreliable witnesses– whose word were not accepted in a court of law. The only place known in this part of the world where women could speak in court– was Egypt. Thanks to the Ptolemies, I’m not sure that was true at this point in history.

This is a sign that He wished this unbalanced precedent to change.  So this shrine could be depicting Mary holding the New Testament. Without Mary, there is no New Testament. Without her we wouldn’t have redemption, or a means to be disciples at all.


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