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Icon of Our Lady

St. Patrick’s Basilica is also home to the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. In 1912, a copy of the Rome Icon of our Lady of Perpetual Succour, blessed by Pope Pius X, was erected in St. Mary’s Church, Lough Derg. Unfortunately, damaged by dampness, it became irreparable. In 1999, the present icon, based on the 15th century Ritzo’s original, was commissioned to replace it. Icons differ from other religious paintings in that they are venerated, not for their material or artistic value, but for their message of truth. In this icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, the popular narrative meaning is obvious, but a deeper message lies in the symbolism of the icon. The geometric regularity of the clothing speaks of the interior order and harmony of the wearer. The large eyes, large ears, and small mouth have a more obvious meaning. Mary’s gaze, and the gesture of her right hand, draw us to contemplate Christ. Here as in all icons, Mary’s role is to lead us to Christ.

 

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In Iconology:
Gold signifies Light, Holiness, Heaven
Blues signifies Eternity, Infinity Divinity
Red signifies Royalty
Orange signifies Faith
Greens and Browns signifies Earth, Humanity.

In icon painting, Mary’s inner garment is almost always green, and her outer mantle red, signifying the royal dignity she donned when she became the Mother of God. The three stars on her mantle signify her threefold virginity, before, during and after the divine birth.

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