A few weeks ago, on the third anniversary of “Mondays with Mary”, I focused on the Blessed Virgin in Sacred Art. For the last May blog post of this year, I would like to draw your attention to some of the symbols most commonly associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is hardly a comprehensive list, but something in order to wet your appetite in the hopes that you will seek out other symbols that have honored and reflected our beautiful and advocating Mother.
In the past, I have spoken about some of these before, so I suggest you click on the links provided in this blog post to learn more about the symbols in previous writings of mine. A common aspect of my blogging is that I try to link previous posts of mine to the current posts.
The first symbol is the Tower of David –
One of the titles the Church applies to Mary is the Tower of David. Just as David’s Tower once provided security and fortification against his enemies, so too does Mary stand against Satan and his followers, who seek to rout out the Church. As our Queen Mother, she keeps us safe and far away from the attacks of Satan.
The Old Testament book Song of Solomon (also known as Song of Songs) states, “Your neck is like the tower of David, built for an arsenal, whereon hang a thousand bucklers, all of them shields of warriors” (4:4).
The second symbol is the Vine and the Grapes –
One of the earliest symbols given to the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the Early Church Fathers, is that of the fruitful vine with the bountiful of grapes. In the 11th century, one of the newest Doctors of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen, explained in her theology that Jesus was the Vine that came forth from the heart of Mary. As He came forth from his Mother’s heart, there also comes the fruit and good works of the followers of Jesus Christ.
The third symbol is the Morning Star.
The morning star, usually associated with the first star of the day, brings light to the dawn of the day and gets us ready for the full radiant beauty of the sun. In the book of Revelation, Jesus tells us that he will give us this star to all those continue to follow Him till He returns again (22:16). In relation to Mary, she is the Morning Star leading us close to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The fourth symbol is the Fleur-de-lis.
This very ancient symbol synthesizes the iris (flower of the lily) and the Madonna lily and has long been connected with the Blessed Virgin Mary because the purity she witnessed throughout her entire life. The Fleur-de-Lis, which emphasizes life, light, and perfection, is the definitive symbol of the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Mother. In relation to the Holy Trinity, Mary is a daughter, mother, and spouse.
The fifth symbol is the Rosebush.
For an explanation on the Rose, along with the other flowers associated with the Blessed Virgin, I would encourage you to read the most popular blog post in this series, The Flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As we close the Month of Mary for this year, I would encourage you to share with your family and friends this post and the many others I have written for the sole purpose to explain to Catholics the importance that Mary plays in Salvation History as the Mother of God.