In honor of today’s celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin I am sharing a bit of work that I have been doing in attempting to reproduce from archival scans a large triptych style painting of the early life of Our Lady that once hung in our church on the wall where the large Triumph Cross presently hangs. Formerly this area was not used for the choir. There was an altar dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, located there above which hung the painting which was a companion piece to the large painting of scenes from the life of St. Joseph that still adorns the other side of the church. At some point during the renovations of years passed the painting disappeared – we do not know if it had been badly damaged or had been donated to another parish. While doing some work in the archives of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) I ran into three high quality black and white photographs of the panels of the painting – one of each scene. I have been doing a bit of work trying to piece them together and level out the shades of gray in the images so they match in the hope of producing a reasonable facsimile of the original piece to share with our parishioners as at the present this is the closest we can some to being able to see this beautiful piece of our history.
Here are my results so far:
The first panel depicts Mary’s parents, Ss. Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, praying in their advanced years for the gift of a child. The third panel depicts the answer to their prayers which is the miraculous conception and birth of Mary, a birth through which God will later bless the entire world in Jesus her Son. The middle panel depicts Mary as a young girl, about the age of our First Communion children, being presented and received in the Temple at Jerusalem where she would live for a number of years being instructed in the ways of the Lord.