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"Mary, Mother of the Life Within" - A Statue Rich in Symbolism

Given the visceral and volatile nature of the abortion issue, it was the artist's intention to address it in a wholly positive way. To paraphrase St. Theresa, "What good does it do to win the argument and lose the soul?" He felt the best way to proceed was to highlight those things which are transcendent about motherhood and the beauty of children. In so doing, all people of good will can meet on common ground, regardless of their political or personal beliefs. More importantly, it is hoped that people who have not made up their minds will be inclined toward prayerful contemplation and come to a positive conclusion. The following is an explanation of some of the main themes addressed in the sculpture:

Mary's posture is analogous to that of a pregnant woman placing her hands over her womb and the child within; the infant's posture subtly suggests the fetal position of an unborn child. This is to show the inseparable connection between these dual phases of human life and development.

At the center of the statue is a dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit, the 'Lord, Giver of Life.' The head of the dove, located near the heart of the infant, represents the presence of an immortal soul in every child. In turn, the head of the infant rests on the heart of his Mother, Mary, whose gaze envelops them both. The Holy Spirit, Infant, and Mother are integrated one with another. This establishes the beautiful, inherent physical and spiritual connection that exists between all mothers and their children.

The cross halo on Christ's head rests on Mary's heart. Mary holds in her heart the suffering of the innocents and of all those wounded and affected by abortion. The Infant's left leg hangs gently over the Mother's hand. This is to show that only with its mother's protection and love will a baby be able to take its first step into the world and live the life it has been given.

The moon at Mary's feet recalls images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and its relevant symbolism indicating the Marian triumph over the Aztec god of death, whose symbol was the crescent moon. A throne of clouds alludes to classic images of the Assumption and Coronation.

The tilt of Mary's head is purposefully reminiscent of Michelangelo's pieta, but Mary's features are of a different nature. Instead of the sorrowful reality of her son's death, this new statue shows Mary's joyful acceptance of her Motherhood as she envelops her child in a protective, life-giving embrace. That gesture will eventually lead to the opening of her arms - first to give Jesus to the world, and then to receive him back, in his suffering and death. When seen in the light of why it was commissioned, this Pro-Life statue is truly a pieta in its own rite. The tie in is a strong one and is designed to be so.

The rosary on Mary's arm reminds us that this powerful prayer can change the world by leading the way in bringing an end to the suffering and division caused by the abortion issue.

 

A Timeless Madonna

This original sculpture, Mary, Mother of the Life Within, delicately portrays the physical and spiritual interdependence of the most basic of all human relationships; that of the bond between mother and child. It speaks loudly and clearly regarding the value of human life, the importance of motherhood, and the protection and security a family provides. The grace of the statue celebrates the nurturing aspect of motherhood. It speaks very simply to the heart of anyone of good will regarding the sacredness and dignity of life.

While establishing a new, unique portrayal of the Madonna and Child, this statue pays loving homage to great Catholic icons of the past. In keeping with the request of our Lady, its underlying message is predicated on the praying of the rosary. Its symbols are instantly recognizable to the devout Catholic, yet the overall simplicity of its composition - that of a mother protectively embracing her child- can serve as a bridge between all faiths and political persuasions.

 

A Synergy of Business and Art

Birchfield Design Group, Inc. is an international multimillion dollar corporation that produces and sells baskets. When the Vice President of Birchfield Design, John Routh, met artist Joe DeVito, who composed and sculpted this statue, they resolved to put their faith into action. Birchfield decided to establish a division of their company specifically to finance this work and to help defend the dignity of human life. 

This endeavor represents a synergy between an artist and a business man working towards fulfilling the Gospel of Life. They are answering the Pope's call to use their talents for the good and "offer a new sign of hope." 

Click here for more about the statue, and for pictures.

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org