Featured in collections
399 Favourites95 Comments18K Views
Theotokos of the Sign of Guadalupe
Watercolor and Ink
8 ½ x 10 ¾ inches
"The peoples of Mexico and all the Americas
wonder in amazement at God's loving-kindness
in sending us the image not made by human hands
of His Most Holy Mother to be with us in our suffering and need.
The Church, in the Name of Christ Crucified,
also commands us to take our Mother home with us, in that holy image,
to be our Guide and sure Protection as Thy faithful servants.
And we lovingly obey, as we sing: Alleluia! "
~ Kontakion 11 from the Akathist Hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Here’s my other Guadalupe picture! I got the idea this past Sunday, and I thought it would be an appropriate picture for Advent. This is a depiction of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Eastern iconographic style known as Our Lady of the Sign. It represents Mary at the moment of the Annunciation when she is giving her fiat, when God the Son becomes incarnate in her womb. It’s a reference to the passage in Isaiah that foretells the coming of the Messiah: "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 When Christ is shown symbolically in a medallion or aureole on her breast, she is also called Platytéra from the phrase, Platytéra ton ouranon, which means “more spacious than the Heavens” in Greek. Poetically, this refers to the fact that Mary's womb contained the Uncontainable God Whom the whole Universe could not contain, and He has become a tiny fetus, a small little baby, in her womb. In this type of icon, Mary’s arms are upraised in prayer and joy. This posture is known as the Panagia Orans (since Mary is praying in the orans position). In icons where Mary is shown full length, one of her knees are always bent, and I thought this was interesting since in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe her knee is also bent and her hands are also in a posture of prayer. To the Aztec natives her bent knee and hands folded together showed that Mary was dancing and clapping her and and rejoicing in God. In the orans position Mary is doing the same. She is worshipping God with her whole body and singing her Magnificat: “My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:46-49)
As for the symbolism of Our Lady of Guadalupe, she is the Woman from the Apocalypse: "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." (Revelations 12:1) The name “Guadalupe” comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) “coatlaxopeuh” which means, “one who crushes the serpent”(Genesis 3:15)
I liked how my picture of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn turned out, so I decided to incorporate the same symbolism into that one as well. The background is the dawn strewn with stars, reminiscent of the winter, December night sky. The dawn approaches (in the liturgical season of expectation, Advent) for the dawning of the new and Eternal Sun, Christ. Like in the winter solstice, the sun’s days begin to lengthen, but Christ is the Sun that never sets.
Constant preaching and missions could not sway the people from sacrificing their children to demons and paying tribute to the cunning Serpent of old. In Thy image of Guadalupe, Thou didst reveal Thyself as “She who crushes the serpent,” removing from the earth the curse received through the spilled blood of innocent children. As the former slaves of the Serpent now flock in large numbers to become the servants of Thy Son through Thee, inspired by Thy image, we sing: Alleluia!
Thou art the great Sign that appeared in Heaven, O Mother of God of Guadalupe, that crushes the Serpent beneath Thy feet, delivering us from his enmity. Deliver us now from all evil by Thine intercession as we sing to Thee:
Rejoice, Terror of demons!
Rejoice, Vanquisher of the evil one!
Rejoice, Destroyer of all his wiles!
Rejoice, bringing to nought his pride!
Rejoice, turning us firmly toward the Light that comes from the East!
Rejoice, Enlightenment of our darkness!
Rejoice, enrobed with the brightness of Thy Son!
Rejoice, crowned with the stars of Thy virtues!
Rejoice, with the moon at Thy feet!
Rejoice, Holy of Holies!
Rejoice, Unfading Bloom!
Rejoice, Life-giving Spring!
Rejoice, O Lady from Heaven, Virgin-Mother clothed with the Sun!
Thou didst protect the children of old who were sacrificed to the cunning Serpent. Thou didst dry up the streams of their blood and tears over the earth as Thou didst cast the Serpent into hell from whence he came. We ask you, Most Holy Mother of Guadalupe, to protect the children of our time from a similar fate - through the sin of being killed in their mother's wombs through abortion. As Thou are a Mother to all Thy children, we sing to Thee: Alleluia!
Thy image at Guadalupe, O Most Holy Mother, reveals Thee as the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy that a Virgin shall be found to be with Child. Knowing each child to bear the image of God, Thou art a sure defender of those whose angels are ever before the Face of God the Father as we sing to Thee:
Rejoice, Protector of the helpless little ones!
Rejoice, Defender of children in the wombs of their mothers!
Rejoice, for of such is the Kingdom of God!
Rejoice, for Thou dost suffer the little ones to come to Thy Son!
Rejoice, for many children were martyred by Herod to save Thy Son!
Rejoice, for Thou art surrounded by their souls as with a precious Crown!
Rejoice, for Thou art the support of mothers everywhere!
Rejoice, for Thou art their mainstay and hope!
Rejoice, for Thou nourishes them and their children on the Milk of Thy Grace!
Rejoice, for unto us a Son is born!
Rejoice, for His Name is Emmanuel!
Rejoice, for God is with us in a little Child!
Rejoice, O Lady from Heaven, Virgin-Mother clothed with the Sun!
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
O Theotokos of Guadalupe, accept this humble hymn of praise from us Thy servants in honor of Thy miraculous image not made by human hands. Cover us with the Mantle of Thy Protection and guide with the prayers of Thy all-powerful intercession. Deliver us from the wiles of the Serpent of old, and break his hold on nations and individuals in our time. Lead us to Thy Son as the Divine Ladder, the flaming Bush unconsumed by fire and the Ark of the New Covenant. Most Holy Mother of God intercede for us and save us by Thy prayers. Amen.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas, Compassionate Mother of Our Redeemer, Patroness of the Unborn, Woman clothed with the Sun, Virgin standing upon the moon, Mother crushing the Serpent’s head, Lady crowned with the twelve stars of Israel, pray for us!
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12th.
2523x3217px 7.08 MB
© 2012 - 2021 Theophilia
I was wondering where the Kontakia to the Holy Virgin of Guadalupe come from? Is it from the Byzantine catholic rite?
Really like the link made between the Guadalupana and the Virgin of the Sign in the iconography.
Thank you! However, I ask that before people use my images they get my permission first. I don't want my artwork associated with astrology however, so please edit your video so that my work is not included. Thank you!