Gentle expressions of Sicily
The Sicilian Madonnas and female saints moved me deeply, most of the altars, churches and holidays are dedicated to them. Mild and tender faces, with the expression of serenity and unconditional acceptance.
Decorated with flower wreaths and gold, honoured in processions, called in midnight prayers, their names imprinted on statues and frescoes, beloved females with the power of mercy. Palermian saint Santa Rosalia, Madonna Annunziata di Palermo, Madonna di Lourdes, Madonna di Monte Oliveto and many more, stoically listening to appeals for love, health and rescue.
One of the specific depictions of the Virgin Mary is called the Eleusa, which means tenderness or showing mercy in the Greek language. It portrays Mary with the infant Jesus, nestled against her cheek, known as the Virgin of Tenderness.
What is thought-provoking is the changing perspective of the adorned Virgin Mary through the history. As is stated in early representations of Mary, she was first seen as a Heavenly Queen, noble, compelling and potent. But, with the evolution of Christianity, especially the humble spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi, this image became an interpretation of a timid simple woman, sitting on the ground instead of a throne, with one mere function: the motherhood. It is true she still kept the heavenly halo, but not her personality. Fair trade, exchanging the character for the piece of heaven?
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