20 Astonishing Images of a Breastfeeding Mary…

… The human body is an absolute wonder. I find anatomical illustrations in old medical books as stunning to contemplate as the finest works of art. I’m awed by God’s attention to detail.

Speaking of the body as an example of God’s fine craftsmanship… the female body is miraculous in it’s ability to grow and nourish life.

Some of my favorite images of the Blessed Virgin are of her nursing the infant Christ. Coming from a deeply Southern evangelical background that only regarded Mary at Christmas, it was astonishingly difficult to allow myself affection for Her. In art, the Nursing Madonnas helped me make that motherly connection. Imagine my surprise to find the subject matter considered controversial.

St. Peter’s List has a wonderful collection of Breastfeeding Madonnas.

Sexualization & Puritanism: The Maria Lactans art arguably causes controversy due to two major themes in the Western world. The first is the modern notion or obsession of sexuality, which views the body as a means to the end of gratification. The second is puritanism, which categorically eschews nudity. Both pivot on the same error – the inability to view the human body outside the scope of sexual gratification. A woman’s breast is a prime example… In contradistinction, the use of Mary’s breast in Maria Lactans stands as a sign of life, nourishment, and maternity.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Quittin’ time at Tara!

    I once was given x-rays of my foot when a doctor of mine was finished with them. Out of curiosity I put them up to a light and they were astonishingly beautiful. Who would have thought. Just a humble foot.

    Nothing is as Eucharistic as nursing. It is glorious. And hard.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      “Nothing is as Eucharistic as nursing.”

      I like that.

  • Nancy Davis

    I spent three weeks in Africa this summer and enjoyed immensely the normalcy of mothers breastfeeding their children. It
    was so beautiful.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Each church should have a Maria Lactans image! Never in our history before did our culture need to be reminded of the humanity of Jesus and the divinity of motherhood, which, to me, such images invoke.