Description 'The Eleousa Virgin'
This triptych represents an icon of the Virgin called Eleousa which means Virgin of Mercy or Virgin of tenderness. This mercy or tenderness, is signified by the attitude of the Blessed Virgin who holds against her cheek, the child Jesus or more exactly his cheek against the cheek of the Son of God.
The looks of the Child and the Mother are directed towards the spectator. These looks show both a great sweetness and a kind of sadness.
This tenderness symbolizes the mutual love of Jesus and Mary who unites them deeply: Mary is the Mother of Jesus who is her Creator and Redeemer, She is the Mother of a Son who is God ... If the Virgin Mary does not committed any sin, she is however the first of the redeemed because her privilege, namely to be immaculate conception, is a fruit of the Redemption.
These looks directed towards the spectator show that this reciprocal love of Jesus and Mary, is not a self-folded love but it encompasses all humanity. Christ died for the salvation of all men and wants all to be saved. Mary is intensely and deeply involved in this love of the Redeemer to the point of being the co-redemptress.
The veil of sadness we read in his looks is obviously due to the perspective of the Passion where Christ will reach the summit of abandonment and suffering by taking upon himself all the sins of men. This reminder of the Passion is also signified by the purple garment of the Virgin.
The three stars that we see on Mary, one on each shoulder and one on the head recalls the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God: virgin before, virgin during and virgin after the birth of his son.
The Child Jesus holds in his right hand a scroll, no doubt to recall that his coming was prophesied in the Old Testament, as in the prophet Isaiah with the prophecy of Emmanuel (chapter 9).
The Apostle St. Thomas, who is on the left panel, confesses both the mystery of the Holy Trinity and that of the Incarnation. The three fingers of the right hand touching one another, recall the mystery of a God in three persons and the two other fingers signify the two natures human and divine in the person of Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity.
The right panel represents the apostle and evangelist St. Matthew. He holds in his hand a book to remind him that he is the author of the first Gospel.
Data sheet 'The Eleousa Virgin'
Name of the product
Triptych of The Eleousa Virgin with Saint Thomas and Saint Matthew
open : 22 cm x 15 cm closed : 11,5 cm x 15 cm
Traditions Monastiques (FRANCE)
Icon of the Eleousa Virgin
Saint Thomas and Saint Matthew
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