VIRGIN MARY OF FIRST NATIONS

The Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, solemn and magnificent, tender and thoughtful, represents lordliness and dignity.  She conveys an internal discipline and an assurance about the Truth.  She is the Virgin Hodegetria, “the one who points the way.”  She points to Christ with Her right hand, while holding him with her left.  The gentle tenderness She is sharing with Her child is quiet yet strong.  Mary reminds us that God is our Savior as she is pointing the way to salvation.

 

This icon is written in the artistic tradition of North American natives.  It symbolizes their native heritage using the methodology of writing traditional Christian icons.  I state with sincere admiration that this icon reflects the rich, cultural heritage of the first inhabitants of this continent, and respects their beliefs, traditions and history.

 

Pope John Paul II said to the native peoples in Canada in 1984 “… The Gospel does not destroy what is best in you. On the contrary, it enriches, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and gifts that are distinctive of your cultures.” In his 1987 address to the native people in Arizona, Pope John Paul II added: “… Preserve and keep alive your cultures, your languages, the values and customs… these things benefit not only yourselves but the entire human family.”

 

All may pray to this icon for through prayer She will help in forgiving, as well as overcoming our difficulties, prejudices, admitted wrongs, and all that divides us. 

 

May the Holy Spirit always be present within this icon and us forever.

 

Janusz Charczuk

Iconographer