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Do you know why Mary is sometimes seated in art?

ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation

From the mid-2nd century up to the Pieta and beyond, various artists have depicted Our Lady seated.

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When I think of Our Lady, I usually picture her standing, the way she is portrayed in most parish and grotto statues, as well as in many Marian apparitions, including Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe. Mary’s posture is mentioned only once in the Bible, when we are told she was standing at the foot of the cross. A great number of Marian sculptures and images throughout the centuries, however, show Mary seated.

Many of these images call to mind Mary’s status as queen and mother by depicting her on a throne with the child Jesus in her lap. The same basic posture has given rise to a plethora of images, with a number of similarities, yet also expressing a wide range of scenes, symbolism, and meaning deeply embedded in the spiritual heritage of the Church.

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