The Chartres Labyrinth and Mary (15)

God was willing to depend on a woman, as all humans must do, to be nurtured unto life and nourished unto health. I am grateful to Mary, my older sister, whose example reminds me that maternal love is very precious.

My prayer

God, thank You for the privilege of being a woman.

Biblical touchstone

A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” Luke 11:27 (NRSV)

Invitation to prayer

Wisdom Ways Labyrinth Building
Wisdom Ways Labyrinth Building

As you consider this stained glass window of Mother Mary and Jesus–its images, but also its colors and shapes, what prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.

Photo and placement of this image in relationship to the labyrinth

Mary offering her breast to Jesus. One of three nursing images of Mary and Jesus found at Chartres. While this was not a common medieval theme, according to La Veille Chronique,  a hymn to Mary that referenced her nursing was sung at the cathedral: “O glorious woman, elevated to the top of the stars, the one who created you in anticipation, you breastfeed from the holy breast.” This thirteenth century (1205-1215) image is above the labyrinth on the south side in the third bay from the west. In the photo below it is the sixth (counting the half window) window from the organ on the right hand side.

Clerstory windows
Stained glass above the nave

 

Related Posts: Other Images of Mary Visible from the Labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral

To the east of the labyrinth:
The apsidal image of Mary as a throne for Jesus who is sitting on her lap blessing on the top of the East central window (above the choir).
The Annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary in the East central window (above the choir).
The Visitation of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in the East central window (above the choir).

To the west of the labyrinth:
Mary in the Tree of Jesse (Ancestors of Jesus). Twelfth century window (1140-1150) on the north side of the west wall.

The Annunciation in The Life of Christ Window. Twelfth century window (1145-1155), the central window on the west wall.
The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the Life of Christ Window.
The Nativity: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window.
The Kings Visit Jesus and Mary in the life of Christ Window.
The Flight Into Egypt: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window
The Return from Egypt: The Holy Family in the Life of Christ Window
Jesus blessing while sitting on Mary’s Lap in the Life of Christ Window

Mary standing below the cross of Jesus in the Passion and Resurrection Window (1145-1155), on the south side of the west wall.
Mary holding Jesus’ hands as his body is taken off the cross in the Passion and Resurrection Window.
Mary watching the anointing and entombment of Jesus in the Passion and Resurrection Window.

 

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