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Monday, January 11, 2010

Oldest Known Image of Mary

Devotion to the Mother of God has no shortage of artistic representation.

Found in the Catacomb of Priscilla in Rome, dating from the late second century, is the oldest known image depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the picture, she is nursing the Infant Jesus. The third figure in the image may be the prophet Balaam. Here he is pointing to a star which is outside of the frame. The star is a reference from Numbers 24:17
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near. A STAR SHALL RISE out of Jacob and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel: and shall strike the chiefs of Moab, and shall waste all the children of Seth.

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