By Tom Quiner
To Juan Diego, Mary looked like a 14 year old “mestizo,” a half caste, part Aztec, part Spanish.
To young Conchita Gonzales who claims to have seen an apparition of Mary in Garabandal, Spain in the early 1960s, she looked like this:
“Her hair is wavy and parted in the middle. She has an oval shaped face and her nose is long and delicate. Her mouth is very pretty with rather full lips. The color of her face is dark but lighter than that of the angel; it is different. Her voice is very lovely, a very unusual voice that I can’t describe. There is no woman that resembles the Blessed Virgin in her voice or in anything else.”
In Rwanda, Our Lady of “Kibeho” was described as…
“… the most beautiful woman. Her skin was neither white nor black and she radiated a warm, glowing, motherly love.”
Marie Claire (one of the visionaries) said that “her beauty is as great as her love for her children.”
For you non-Catholics who may not be familiar with the lingo above, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has been appearing supernaturally to rather ordinary people since the 16th century. The Catholic Church has approved twelve of these apparitions. Many more have appeared that have not been officially approved.
Mary’s appearance is not the same, but her message is. She calls for prayer and repentance, calling us to Her Son, Jesus.
This most Blessed Mother of God meets us where we’re at, adapting her image to meet our needs.
I follow a blog called “Under Reconstruction.” The writer, Karen, is also an artist. She wrote a great piece titled, “The Importance of Non-European Christian Imagery.” Karen is Asian-American who is creating Christian imagery using alternative cultural depictions. Karen explains why:
“I have a deep, personal appreciation for such images because they have helped me better grasp the universality of our God and His plan for mankind. I am ethnically Chinese and grew up in Muslim-majority Indonesia. For years, I was subconsciously frustrated and estranged by singularly European depictions of Christian figures.”
Check out her work. I posted two of her drawings. I really like them. Then be sure to visit her blog.
On this Christmas Eve, Karen’s art builds on the Catholic tradition that Christ is the Savior of us all, and that Mary is the Mother of us all.
Skin color doesn’t matter. It is our heart and soul that really counts. Join me this Christmas Eve at thrilling at God’s boundless love for each us. He is about to send His Son to save us.
This is the night the world is shaken by God’s love.