OUR LADY OF STUDIES


A imagem pode conter: 4 pessoas, pessoas em pé(By St. Thomas Aquinas)

O Mary, Seat of Wisdom,
so many persons of common intellect 
have made through your intercession
admirable progress in their studies. 

I hereby choose you as guardian and patron of my studies. 
I humbly ask You to obtain for me the grace of the Holy Spirit, 
so that from now on I could understand more quickly, 
retain more readily, and express myself more fluently. 
May the example of my life serve to honour you
and your Son, Jesus.

Amen.

photo: Virgin Child, with Saints and Donors by Jan van Eyck (Dutch: [ˈjɑn fɑn ˈɛik]) (before c. 1390 – 9 July 1441) was a Flemish/Netherlandish painter active in Bruges

Another painting created by Jan van Eyck is the Virgin Child, with Saints and Donors. Found within this painting, the Virgin Mary can be found in the center of the painting holding Baby Jesus. The Virgin stands on a beautifully ornate oriental carpet and is framed by two arched windows. Surrounding the Virgin are three other figures: Saint Barbara, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, and a Carthusian monk.

Both saints found in this painting have a representational attribute to help identify them. Found behind St. Barbara is the three-windowed tower that is associated with her. Within one of the three windows of the tower is a sculpture of Mars, the God of war, which is fitting for St. Barbara since she is the patron saint of soldiers. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is clothed in her religious habit as opposed to the crown, similar to the one in her hands, she adorned prior to giving her life to ministry and prayer.

The Carthusian monk present is identified as Jan Vos, who was prior of the Charterhouse of Genadedal. As a very prominent figure in the life of monasteries during the fifteenth century, many important roles were held prior to becoming appointed to Genadedal. According to documents relating to the painting, it is believed the painting was ordered as “a pious memorial of Dom Jan Vos, Prior of the Monastery.”

The image of the monk is kneeled at the feet of Mary in a position of prayer, while St. Barbara’s right hand rest upon his shoulder. The position St. Barbara is in makes her appear as a sponsor figure for the monk and is holding a palm branch towards Baby Jesus and Mary. The palm branch is representational of peace and eternal life, so it is possible to assume that St. Barbara is a sponsor for the monk who is asking for eternal peace from Baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary. In return, Baby Jesus has raised his hand in a gesture of blessing to the monk.

St. Elizabeth’s connection may be through the connection of a rich family who made wealthy donations to the Carthusian monasteries; and the landscape found behind her figure is that of a heavily ornate city with tall cathedral towers and a wall surrounding the entire city. The connection between the other side of the river and the protected city of worship is the bridge which vanishes into the direction of Mary. The bridge, linking Mary and Jesus to the enclosed city of cathedrals represents the idea behind Christ being the salvation for mankind. The Baby Jesus is holding a cross in his hands, which represent his impending sacrifice to save all sinners.

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