LIFE OF A VIRGIN

Birth of A Virgin

24x20.5cm

Saint Anne gave birth to her daughter Mary surrounded by attendants and servants befitting the family’s wealth and status.

To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

- Genesis 3:16

Presentation of A Virgin

24x20.5cm

Mary’s mother promised God that if she conceived her child would be dedicated to Him, so when Mary was three she was taken to serve in the temple.

“And being placed before the alter, she danced with her feet, so that all the house of Israel loved her.”

- From the legendary
‘Book of James’

Childhood of a Virgin

20.5x24cm

Mary served in the temple under the guidance of the priests until she was fourteen.

“Do you not realise Eve, that the curse God pronounced on your sex weighs still on the world. Guilty, you must bear its hardships. You are the devil’s gateway, you first betrayed the law of God, you softened up with your cajoling words the man against whom the devil could not prevail by force.”

- Tertullian, early 3rd Century Roman jurist,
Christian apologist and theologian

“….I have been provided with information which leads me to think she was not entirely an angel herself.”

- Judge Starforth Hill, Winchester, June 1993
(on the character of an eight year old child of sexual abuse.)

Marriage of A Virgin

24x20.5cm

Acting on the advice of an angel, the high priest told Mary to Marry. Eligible men slept overnight at the temple and Joseph was chosen next day as his staff (by a divine hand) had blossomed...

“Do you not see where marriage took its origin?…. For where there is death, there too is sexual coupling; and where there is no death, there is no sexual coupling either.”

- St. John Chrysostom (d.407)
Archbishop of Constantinople

An Annunciation

24x20.5cm

The Archangel Gabriel brought Mary God’s message that she would give birth to the Christ child.

Then said Mary, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” And the angel answered, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.”

- St. Luke 1:34-35
Ascribed as one of The Four Evangelists & traditionally ascribed authors of the canonical Gospels

A Visitation

20.5x24cm

Mary went to stay with her older cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. When they met, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy and she knew that Mary carried the Christ.

“It is a subject of humiliation of all mothers of the children of Adam to know that while they are with child, they carry within them an infant…. who is the enemy of God, the object of His hatred and malediction, and the shrine of the demon.”

- St. Jean Eudes (1601-80)
French priest and founder of
The Order of Our Lady of Charity
(to rehabilitate delinquent females)

A Nativity

20.5x24cm

Mary gave birth to a son in a stable at Bethlehem, there being no room at the inn. Some shepherds (and three wise men) who were guided by a star, juorneyed to the town to worship the child.

“The Virgin rose and stood erect …. then the son of the Eternal God came out of the womb of the mother without a murmur or lesion ….in a moment,”

- St. Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seventh Minister General of The Order of Friars Minor & Cardinal Bishop of Albano

A Purification

24x20.5cm

As was customary after the birth of a male, Mary underwent a purification period of thirty-three days. After that she presented Jesus at the temple and sacrificed two birds.

“If they become tired or even die, that does not matter. The norm is male. Every woman is a failed man.”

- St. John Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407)
Archbishop of Constantinople & Early

A Pieta

24x20.5cm

Holding Jesus’ body, taken down from the cross, Mary mourns his death.

“….Nor was she merely engaged in witnessing the cruel spectacle; rather, she rejoiced utterly that her only begotten was being offered for the salvation of the human race.”

- Francisco Suarez (d.1617)
Spanish Jesuit priest, philosopher and theologian

Pentecost

24x20.5cm

When Mary and the followers of Jesus gathered to celebrate the day os Pentecost, the room became filled with wind and ‘tongues of fire sat on each of them’. They were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in strange languages.

“The ‘new me’ is washed off with the evening bath.”

- Naomi Wolf
From The Beauty Myth (London 1990)
(on the effectiveness of anti-aging products)

An Assumption

24x20.5cm

At the close of Mary’s earthly life, her uncorrupted body was transported to and assumed into heaven.

Jesus said to Mary, “Rise up my love and my kinswoman; thou that didst not suffer corruption by union of the flesh, shall not suffer dissolution of the body….”

- The Pseudo-Melito 2nd Century

A Coronation

20.5x24cm

Mary was received into heaven by Christ her son and crowned ‘Queen of Heaven’ by him.

An Immaculate Conception

24x20.5cm

From the instant Mary was conceived in her mother’s womb, she was free from original sin and therefore worthy to be Christ’s mother.

“He created me in the beginning before the world and I shall never fail.”

- Ecclesiasticus 24:9 O.T. Apocrapha

“Most blessed Virgin Mary …. your life of faith and love and perfect unity with Christ was planned by God to show us more clearly what our lives should be, you are the outstanding model of motherhood and virginity.”

- Modern prayer commended by
Second Vatican Council, 1964

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PAPER VIRGINS