The Blue Madonna

19 Mar

I was twelve the first time I saw her in a museum in Florida. I had no idea that the woman I was so enamored with was Mary. I just thought she was a beautiful, serene, sad woman.

Carlo Dolci, The Blue Madonna, 1616-1687, oil on canvas 21” x 15.25”

I loved the painting so much that I bought a copy from the gift shop. I took her home and kept her in the package. I was worried that if I left her out that my siblings would tear her up or get peanut butter on her. Eventually I realized that my beautiful lady was Mary, and she ended up on the top shelf of my closet because I felt guilty of idolatry. And she waited for me there for several years. Until today.

It’s funny because looking back, I can see how the Blessed Mother made little appearances in my life – especially when I was in my very early adolescent years. Which makes sense – she would understand better than most the importance of saying ‘Yes’ to the Lord early in life. I always found myself drawn to the Blue Madonna – I wanted to be like her. I wanted her seeming sense of inner strength and piety.

And now I find that I crave that quiet, serene strength and obedience more than ever.

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5 Responses to “The Blue Madonna”

  1. geloruma April 1, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    Reblogged this on one little sail.

  2. geloruma April 1, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Hi,
    I loved this so much – it describes perfectly the watchful and gentle mother Mary and her constancy – even when we aren’t aware. I re-blogged it as it also explains the importance of Catholic art and how God uses images to capture our hearts. The opposite of “idolatrous” thinking! which Catholics are so often accused of.
    Thank you.

    • elliejaneohara April 1, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked my thoughts! So true about the Blessed Mother – even when I didn’t realize it, she was entering my life so as to point me to her Son.

    • reinkat April 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      Yes! You said it beautifully!
      and I, too, really enjoyed this post.

      • elliejaneohara April 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

        Thank you! I always love an encouraging comment!

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