Inspired Through Art: Mary, Queen of Heaven and the Blessed Trinity

Authored by Jem Sullivan in Issue #5.2 of The Catechetical Review

Master of the St. Lucy Legend, c. 1485/1500

"The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God’s creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity…even now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity,” teaches the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Par. 260)

The one creature who most uniquely entered into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity was the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. From the moment of her Immaculate Conception to her Assumption and Coronation as Queen of Heaven, Mary was the pure and sinless dwelling of the Most Holy Trinity. An exquisite 15th century painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, titled Mary, Queen of Heaven, invites us to contemplate the unique and intimate relationship of the Mother of God to the Blessed Trinity. The beautiful image also invites us to imitate Mary, so we may grow in communion with each of the Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity as she did.

Queen of Heaven, Rejoice! Alleluia!
One of the traditional Marian antiphons for the Easter season is the beautiful exclamation, Queen of Heaven, Rejoice! Alleluia! In this large panel painting we have the perfect image to accompany that Easter hymn of praise to Mary.

For we see the Blessed Virgin Mary at the center of the composition, clothed in gold trimmed robes of red and dark blue. Mary’s serene oval face is framed by delicate locks of wavy hair, and her hands are folded in a gesture of prayer and contemplation of the mystery of her divine Son. The panel is the work of an artist known simply as the Master of the Saint Lucy Legend, because his most famous work—an altarpiece from 1480—showed episodes from the life of Saint Lucy. In this masterpiece, the artist captures three aspects of Marian theology in a single painting of intense color, remarkable movement, and ornate texture: first, the Assumption of Mary; second, her Immaculate Conception signified by the crescent moon under her feet; and third, her Coronation as Queen of Heaven.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Catholic Schools and Their Call to Evangelize
By Dr. James Pauley
Free Several years back, at the end of Mass, we listened attentively to a pitch for Catholic education from our well-respected Catholic high school’s football coach. He described his own childhood and the sacrifices his parents made to send their kids to Catholic schools. He asked how many of us adults had attended Catholic schools and a sizeable... Read more
From the Shepherds: Evangelizing Through Catholic Schools
By Bishop Thomas Olmsted
Free Ample research has shown that a great majority of young people are leaving the Church before age 22 and choosing to never return. Many studies have been done on the Millennial Generation to discover their affinity (or lack thereof) to the Christian Faith. The Church’s response to this lack of faith is the New Evangelization. In 1990, Pope John... Read more
Curriculum from a Catholic Worldview
By R. Jared Staudt
We can take for granted the fact that the Catholic Church runs a large number of schools throughout the world. It is clear that the Church must offer religious education, but why does the Church teach math, gym class, science, literature, and history? Wouldn’t it just be easier if the Church focused more narrowly on the supernatural; why also... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now