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Luke 2:35 And a sword will pierce your own soul too.
I forgot to take notes and just gaped. As much as anything, it was Mary’s hands that moved me. In her hands and face you can see the struggle to keep her child safe juxtaposed with the knowledge every mother faces (but Mary more than any): she cannot hold or protect him for long.
I have seen dozens of representations of the Madonna and Child, some remote, some tender, some beatific, some sorrowful. Of all of them, the Virgin of Vladimir best helps me to comprehend the sword that pierced Mary’s soul.
Today the Church remembers The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple.