Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fabulous Marian Wardrobe Week Continues!

The Fabulous Marian Wardrobe Week continues with Our Lady of the Rosary. Pretty, no?

Our Lady of the Rosary has a kind of haphazard origination. In the sixteenth century at the battle of Lepanto, the Holy League held back Muslim forces. This victory was attributed to the Virgin Mary as that very day a rosary procession had been offered in St. Mark's Square in Rome in her honor. There's no real standard in her depiction, except that most modern depictions have her dressed in all white with, of course, a rosary, and bearing the Immaculate Heart. One of my favorites, actually.

So, we have white on white with nice blue undertones. The Marian blue is a standard based in medieval art in which Cobalt, the most expensive mineral at the time, was used to adorn the Virgin as a means of honoring her above all other women. Prior to this you see a lot of red (cadmium) and darker tones. But now it's almost universal to have at least a portion of the Marian wardrobe done in blue. This particular image is nicely done as you can tell she's wearing the white of the Carmelite Order, but the blue undertones behind the incredibly saturated Immaculate Heart make the entire ensemble kick. A+!

As far as Our Lady of the Rosary giving us the Rosary, unfortunately, that's not true. Colloquial wisdom holds that Our Lady instructed St. Dominic in the rosary. A cursory search on Google provides us with the original story that Irish monks began praying the 150 psalms of David every day. Lay people responded with the Lord's Prayer after every Psalm, and began carrying around pebbles or beaded ropes when not in earshot of the monks. When the Irish monks began to evangelize in Europe, this devotion was brought with them. The Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee!) became the response to the psalms and eventually replaced them. Various other forms of devotions utilizing the 150 prayer model saw a standardization effort that combined the various forms and voila! The rosary as we have it today!

And just to show that I know my stuff, I'm going to provide you with the Hail Mary in Latin, just because I love you all. :)

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

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