The Printery House - Religious Greeting Cards Free US Ground
Shipping on all orders
of $75 or more

Customer Service:
1-800-322-2737

Check Order Status

View Cart/ Check Out
Christian Greeting Cards & Gifts

CartYour Cart: 0 items  $0.00

» Icons and Holy Cards » Holy Cards  

Sorrowful Mother (Mater Dolorosa)

Icon Holy Card

product image

See Larger Image


Bookmark this Page
  Item Number Price

Imprinting available.
PCM527 $3.95

Related Items:

Sorrowful Mother (Mater Dolorosa) Icon Reproduction (M27)
Sorrowful Mother (Mater Dolorosa) Icon Greeting Card (CA5027)

Description

The icon of the Sorrowful Mother is a synthesis of several traditional icon motifs. This scene is taken from the account of the Passion (see Mt 27:57-61, Mk 15:46, Lk 23:50-53, Jn 19:38-40). We can all identify with the grief of the Blessed Virgin as she cradles her son and Our Lord in her arms. The piercing red background reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice, while the cross stands in triumph as the instrument of His defeat over death.

Icon holy cards are printed on heavy cream-colored paper in a convenient size for use as gifts or bookmarks, 3 1/8" x 4 5/8". The backs are blank except for a faint colophon at the bottom, leaving plenty of room for custom imprinting with your own message. These holy cards are sold in packages of 25.

Image Origins

The Crucifixion is a popular subject in iconography. The Removal from the Cross is depicted less often. In this scene Jesus’ body is lowered by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus in a linen cloth to his Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, John the beloved apostle and the Roman centurion Longinus. Still less frequent, yet traditional, are icons of the Cross alone; it is the only inanimate object venerated in iconography.

This icon is a synthesis of the latter two. Sr. Marie Paul has taken several familiar canonical icons and shifted the emphasis to portray a scene that makes the empty cross prominent. At the same time it also renders a pieta familiar to us in Western art, such as Michelangelo’s in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. This scene is taken from the account of the Passion of Christ in all four of the Gospels (see Mt 27:57-61, Mk 15:46, Lk 23:50-53, Jn 19:38-40).

This icon, while based on a familiar subject, is an original depiction that simplifies the scene and refocuses on the relationship between Mary and her son. The Latin text in the upper left-hand corner reads Mater Dolorosa, “Sorrowful Mother.” Here we see the Blessed Mother positioned between her lifeless son and the cross—the instrument of his painful death and the sign of his victory over sin and death.

Theology and Symbolism

Most backgrounds we see on icons are gold leafed because the metallic quality of the gold reflects light reminding us of the transfigured light of heaven. There are exceptions, however, especially in the Stroganov school of Russia where backgrounds were painted. Many icons of martyrs have a crimson background, because the martyrs have witnessed to the Paschal Mystery of Christ in their own blood. The background of this icon is red to symbolize the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross.

We see in this image a simplified T-form cross, which is generally used only when the two thieves that accompany him are also illustrated into the icon. The traditional Orthodox cross has two parallel crossbeams at the top (one stretches the span of Christ’s arms, the other above the head holds the inscription of Pilate: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews) and a diagonal crossbeam for the feet. Imagery we traditionally see above the crucifix includes: Lord Sabaoth (God the Father) and the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove above the cross; a spear and reed with a sponge on it; the sun turned black and the moon the color of blood (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20); various writings attesting to the glory of Christ; and a skull of Adam exposed beneath the cross. Here, all of this has been stripped away to reveal a sober image of the cross. Only a ladder and a white linen cloth are present from other icons of the Removal from the Cross. The cross itself looks flat and has been drawn according to inverse perspective, a technique in iconography by which objects closer to the viewer become smaller. This technique, which differs from customary Renaissance optics, actually draws us into the scene.

The main focal point of this icon is Mary, who holds in her arms the body of her son, Jesus. Generally in icons of the Removal from the Cross or the Entombment of Christ, Mary stands in a vertical position to the left of Jesus who lies perpendicular to her. Some show a more sentimental view of Mary cheek-to-cheek with Christ. In this icon she wholly embraces her child and her cheek rests next to his. The pose reminds us of icons of Mary consoling the child Jesus in her arms as angels hover with symbols of the crucifixion.

Mary wears blue in this icon, the color most frequently associated with her in Western art. Medieval patrons often wanted the most expensive paint to be used for the clothing of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Blue came from lapis lazuli and soon became associated with Mary. In the Orthodox churches, however, Mary is clothed in red or brown as the one who, like Adam, provides the flesh (red) or clay (brown) in the Incarnation of the second person in the Trinity. Because of this she is given the title in Greek Theotokos, which means, “God bearer.” Sr. Marie Paul has created an icon for Christians in the Western tradition so she uses blue, which immediately recalls for us that this is the Mother of God.

The face of the figure in an icon is the “true” icon; everything else is more or less a footnote. Eyes are very important because they are the way in which we reach the sacred in these images. Closed eyes are used to indicate that someone is dead, but in this icon Jesus’ eyes are half opened and glazed over. Perhaps this intends to show that Christ is truly dead but that he will conquer death and rise again.

The halo around the face of Christ is marked with a cross and the Greek letters, omicron, omega, nu. These translate as, “The being one,” or more commonly, “Who am,” the name of God given to us in Exodus 3:14.

Contemplate this image to ponder the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice which saves us from death. Empathize with Christ’s sorrowful mother who holds his lifeless body in her arms, and recall that it is for our sins that he had to suffer. The empty cross which stands tall and mighty in the background foretells Christ’s glorious resurrection by which our faith is vindicated.

Additional Keywords: Mary, Mother of God



Quantity: 


Price shown does not include imprinting charges.

People who bought this item also bought:

Triumph Over Death (Anastasis)
Triumph Over Death (Anastasis)
Icon Holy Card
The Crucifixion
The Crucifixion
Icon Holy Card
Mary Magdalene Announces the Resurrection
Mary Magdalene Announces the Resurrection
Icon Holy Card

Find more items like this in:

Holy Cards

  Home | Greeting Cards | Icons and Holy Cards | Christian Gifts | More Products | Custom Printing and Imprinting
Ordination Invitations | Stationery and Notes | Prayer Cards | Bookmarks | Sacramental Certificates | Calendars
Gift Certificates | On Sale! | Gift Finder | Sitemap
 

Order online or call toll free 1-800-322-2737
(8 am to 4:30 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday, except holy days and national holidays)
Fax any time toll free: 1-888-556-8262


Connect with us!

Find Us on Facebook Follow printeryhouse on Twitter Visit our blog eCatalog The Printery House on Pinterest

Customer Service
Check Order Status
Contact Customer Service
Ordering policies
Password Help
Privacy Policy
Request a Catalog
Order Blank (Christmas)
Shipping Rates

Fundraising Programs
Affiliate Fundraiser Program
Christmas Fundraiser Program


Artists
Our Artists
Submission Guidelines

Email Specials
Subscribe
Update Your Email Address
Unsubscribe


Links
About Us
Customer Testimonials
Printery House Dealer Site
Conception Abbey
Conception Seminary College
Other Links


Proceeds from the Printery House help to support the monks of Conception Abbey and Conception Seminary College, where young men receive an accredited college education as they study in preparation for the Catholic priesthood.


The Printery House is making every effort to protect the environment by using papers that either contain recycled content or have been purchased from paper mills which practice responsible forestry stewardship. All in-house paper scrap from the production process is recycled.


Willow Tree® is a registered trademark of Susan Lordi. Willow Tree® products in the United States are distributed exclusively by DEMDACO. Other than in its capacity as an independent authorized reseller, neither The Printery House nor this website is affiliated with, endorsed by or sponsored by Susan Lordi or DEMDACO.

Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.


This website is Copyright © 2014 by Conception Abbey, Inc. All rights reserved.
For Customer Service, product questions, or to report issues with this web site, please contact Customer Service.
The Printery House
37112 State Highway VV
PO BOX 12
Conception, MO 64433

Phone: 1-800-322-2737
or 1-660-944-3110


This site last updated: Thursday, December 18, 2014