The Heart of the Black Madonna

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Black Madonna and The Power of Prayer

Salus Popluli Romani, Rome

In Radiant Heart: The Radical Teachings of Jesus and The Mysteries of Christ, Andrew Harvey states:

“The clue to the birth of the full authentic Christ Force on earth and in time lies in the complete embrace of the Sacred Feminine. This embrace will allow the full birth of Christ in our Body, Heart and Soul. The representation of the Divine Feminine will affect the revolution that Christianity needs to go through if it is to be the authentic vehicle of the transforming passion of the Cosmic Christ. Such a restoration at every level of Christian Thought and practice is the only way of restoring to the world that electric balance between transcendentalism of mystical Christianity and the most prophetic and precise commitment to the cultural political transformation that inspired the historical Jesus. The secret transformative force has never completely entered history, it has been incompletely imagined through Patriarchy, which has strangled its power." Harvey feels that there is no other more powerful way to portray the full authentic Christ Force on Earth, than through the Black Madonna.

Salus Populi Romani Carried to the Peace Vigil, September 8 2013 at the Vatican

A beautiful Icon of Mary was carried through the vigil, at the beginning of the service. To me this looks like a Black Madonna. Salus Populi Romani, meaning Protectress (literally salvation or health) of the Roman People is the title given in the 19th century to the Byzantine icon of the Madonna and Child, reputed to date to Early Christian times, in the Borghese or Pauline Chapel of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome. For centuries it was placed above the door to the basilica's baptistery, and in 1240 it was called Regina Caeli ("Queen of Heaven") in a document. Later it was moved to the nave, and from the 13th century it was preserved in a marble tabernacle. 

 Salus Populi Romani is one of the so-called "Luke Images" of which there are many throughout the world. These were believed to have been painted from the life by Saint Luke the Evangelist himself. According to the legend: after the Resurrection, when Mary moved to the home of St. John, she took with her a few personal belongings--among which was a table built by the Redeemer in the workshop of St. Joseph.  St. Luke was asked to paint a portrait of the Mary, it was the top of this table that was used to memorialize her image. While applying his brush and paints, St. Luke listened carefully as the Mother of Jesus spoke of the life of her son, facts which the he later recorded in his Gospel. Legend also tells us that the painting remained in and around Jerusalem until it was discovered by St. Helena in the 4th century. This is a similar narrative to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa in Poland. Many of the Black Madonna's are credited to be painted or sculpted by St. Luke. Throughout history, Black Madonna's have been taken from their crypts or altars and paraded throughout the towns or cities where they reside. They have been credited with healing the population from plagues, stopping invasions and giving people hope. It was no coincidence that this Icon, which is very large for an Icon of it's age, five feet by three feet, was carried out into the crowd during the global vigil for peace in the middle east on September 7th, 2013.

That vigil drew over 100,000 people to the Vatican plaza, was televised to reach the entire world, and many vigils were held throughout the globe.

People from all over the world, from different faiths and Christian sects joined in this deep festival for peace, to focus divine love, I would say, to birth the Christ in our bodies, minds and souls, in order to transform the agony of war, and impending war on the troubled nation of Syria. How many million prayers went out to the Cosmos, filled with love? And yet the drum beat (with much grief and embarrassment I must admit as an American, from my leaders) was getting louder and louder to bomb this troubled blood soaked nation.

Today we wake to the news that a different solution to the terrible violence in Syria has emerged. A third way not even considered just 48 hours ago. 

The Associated Press reports Syria's Foreign Minister has said his country has accepted a Russian proposal to relinquish control of its chemical arms stores:
On Monday, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem stated that his country welcomed the Russian proposal, which called for Syria to place its chemical weapons under international control and for the weapons to be destroyed. The report goes on to say that Syria is open to being a signatory for the Chemical Weapons Ban treaty. The UN is lauding this movement, and suggesting that the weapons be destroyed under supervision, both Russia and Syria are open to this.

Some would argue that the only reason this dramatic turn of events happened is because of the threat of imminent force by the United States. As with everything, people are free to believe what they wish. 

For me, this terrible tragedy, this incomprehensible cruelty of chemical weapons being unleashed upon civilians sleeping in their beds, suffocating over 400 children, this terrible violence and the threat of more violence, inspired the entire globe to fall to their knees and focus the transformative Love of Christ on this terrible wound. I think this is a first in the history of humanity, that the entire world's faithful fell to their knees in prayer as a response to the threat of war. There have been global protests, but to my knowledge, never a global prayer vigil. Lets really learn from this!

Under the banner of a Black Madonna, the full authentic force of Christ was born in the hearts of billions of people as they fell simultaneously into soulful prayer and meditation for love to be the solution to this tragedy. Let us learn this profound lesson, that loving peaceful responses to violence, create opportunities for true miracles to happen. As Mary said to the Archangel Gabriel, let the words of God,  to love one another, be fulfilled in us.

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