|Coptic Mary and Christ-Ruler|
IT IS A WONDER THAT WE HAVE THESE ICONS from Ethiopia, as they are painted on and with very poor materials. Here is Our Lady whose maphorion-folds again reflect the ribs of a scallop shell, the fronds of a palm leaf, ripples in water. The little Christ sits on her arm as if on a throne; he is the Lord. He holds an orb in his left hand. Is it our weary, troubled world? Oh, if only we would embrace his mind of compassion, forgiveness and love.
The Holy Mother and Child have heavenly companions: St. Paul the first hermit and Saint Anthony of Egypt on the bottom with soldier-saints on horseback fighting dragons and enemies. These of course are representations of the ultimate enemies which menace us spiritually. Above on left and right are Saint John the Baptist and, hmmm, I can't figure out who that might be - perhaps a holy desert monk. Angels in an explosion of joy, put Mary's crown in place. But Mary knows where it's at - with her right hand she directs us to her Son. In humility, ask him for a refreshed heart.