Monday, December 5, 2011

Mary of the Sign (icon)

And far beneath the movement of this silent cataclysm Mary slept in the infinite tranquility of God, and God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence.  And her whole being was embraced in Him whom she embraced and they became tremendous silence. 
-Thomas Merton
Mary of the Sign, one of the oldest images of Mary with Christ standing in an orb, pressed to her interior.  She experiences Christ in His Essence, in her being; they are inseparable.

Mary stands square to the viewer, her poised stillness or silent constant prayer is noted in the hands, palms extended outward in total surrender to what has been given. Mary clutches and yearns for nothing. In early icons Mary was portrayed as the Burning Bush and Christ the fire that burns within. She is represented as the divine vessel of burning love. She knows and loves Him even before His birth.

The orb containing this revelation rests within her being, Christ surrounded in gold, symbolizing the totality of god without image. Christ is holding a tiny scroll, a symbol of the Scripture being fulfilled in Him and later to be filled in each and every one of us. Christ is our interior teacher, guide master, and rabbi. The icon’s theology is the link between the Jewish tradition and the new understanding of Christ.

“The Lord Himself will give you a sign, behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a child and his name will be emmanuel.” - ISaIaH 7:14.

excerpt taken from The Mary Collection 2008 by Mary Jane Miller. To see more work done by Mary Jane Miller, go to:


  1. Hello Beth,

    This icon is quite lovely. Very unusual to me with the addition of the Repousse. I don't know much about icons so I found Jane Miller's site quite interesting. A very respectable dedication to this work. Reading the text that you included brought out the subtleties of the imagery. Thanks for posting the image as well as the San Miguel site. I appreciate the contemplative and prayerful nature of the work and the significance that can bring to ones life. Not easy to find but slowly I have my moments.

    I hope you're well. Have a lovely holiday season. I'm glad that you're out there. Robert

  2. Icons are communication - this one is beautiful

    If you haven't seen it - the entire film of Tarkovsky'S Andrei Rublev is now availalbe on DVD - something like 3 hours long - but an experience rather than watching a movie

    Likewise, happy holidays, Grace is always happy to hear from you - had to get off "spot" cause someone kept hacking into it in a wierd way

    can you e-mail me your address just in case my ADD put it someplace special and i forgot where it was?


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