Icon of Mary for Catholic Communicators

Painting of Mary, Queen of Apostles, commissioned by Bl. James Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family

Mary, Queen of Apostles, is a wonderful icon for Catholic writers and communicators.

On May 18th, the Saturday before Pentecost, the Pauline Family celebrates the Feast of Mary, Queen of Apostles. The images of Mary, Queen of Apostles, usually picture her at Pentecost, when she was gathered in prayer with the Apostles. It’s a very special feastday for us as communicators of the Gospel, because Mary is the ultimate Communicator of the Word of God.

The Pauline website has an explanation of what the title means. In the images of Mary, Queen of Apostles, Mary is holding Jesus out–as if to give Him away. Blessed James Alberione describes the meaning of this gesture very specifically: “In the ‘Hail, Holy Queen,’ the Church describes her [Mary] to us with very beautiful titles, but the most beautiful is the one we see portrayed in the new painting of the Queen of the Apostles, in which the Madonna does not clasp Jesus to her heart, but holds him out to the Apostles, as her most sweet fruit, in order that they, in turn, will hold Him out to humanity.”

What a richly symbolic gesture–holding Jesus out for others to receive! What a great image for all baptized Christians who are called to “communicate Christ” in our lives. And what a profoundly meaningful image for those whose life work is dedicated to communicating the Gospel…always holding out Jesus Christ.

As I prepare to pray the Novena to the Queen of Apostles next week, I will also be preparing to start writing a new project. This week, I’ve been connecting Mary’s motherly journey with the creative journey of a new project. Conceiving, nurturing, giving birth, teaching, preparing, accompanying, and letting go (or entrusting to God) are all stages of being a mother and stages of being an artist. I am still pondering how to describe the role of the Holy Spirit in all of this–the Spirit who descends so powerfully on Mary at the Annunciation and again at Pentecost.

Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for all writers who seek to present God in our creative works and in the most important masterpiece of all–our own lives.

About Sr. Marie Paul Curley

Sr. Marie Paul Curley, fsp, is a member of the Daughters of Saint Paul, who seek to communicate Christ in their lives and through the media. Originally from the Boston area, she entered the Daughters of St. Paul while a teenager, convinced that she had discovered God’s plan for her life. Twenty-five years later, she still rejoices daily in God’s loving plan for her. Sr. Marie Paul is currently missioned in Boston, MA, where she writes for Pauline Digital and Pauline Studios. Her most recent books, Saints Alive! The Faith Proclaimed and Saints Alive! The Gospel Witnessed, are novelized short stories of saints from every walk of life.
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6 Responses to Icon of Mary for Catholic Communicators

  1. I would love to post this image on a post I just wrote on Catholic Bloggers Network where 491 Catholic writers are listed in their directory

  2. instead, I copied and pasted your first paragragh, the icon, title and credits to the painter and you.

  3. Thanks so much for this beautiful and inspiring icon. Like Melanie, I would like to share this with my readers. Please comment on any permission necessary.

    • SisterPaul says:

      Dear Nancy and Melanie,

      Thank you for wanting to share this beautiful aspect of devotion to Mary! Our Founder used to say that it is the earliest devotion to Mary in the Church, because it was practiced by the Apostles themselves….

      With regard to usage: the painting is part of the heritage of the Pauline Family. I can use it as a Pauline, but I cannot give permission for it to be reproduced, at least not at this time. The best solution for now would be to provide a link, as Melanie has done…

      God bless,
      Sr. Marie Paul

  4. Erin Pascal says:

    Beautiful blog and a very wonderful post! Indeed, the painting is really beautiful and the meaning behind it is astounding and hits straight to the heart. Thank you for a very inspiring post. :)