Lithography – Antique Painting Technique – Virgin Mary of Sorrows – Seven Swords | Mount Athos

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In this rare icon, the Virgin Mary is portrayed with her heart pierced by seven swords. The lithography is hand-finished and completed with the antique painting technique.

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Virgin Mary of Sorrows – Seven Swords: The story of the icon

In this most unusual picture, Our Lady appears with her heart pierced by seven swords. In the most common iconographic type, we see four swords on her left and three on her right.

Because Catholics have adopted the worship of the “Heart of the Virgin Mary”, many people believe that the icon of the Virgin Mary of Sorrows- Seven Swords is of catholic origin. In fact, however, the icon is related to the prophecy of Saint Simeon the theologian recorded by the evangelist Luke “a sword will go through your heart…” (Luke 2,35).

This passage refers to the pain that Virgin Mary would feel at the time of separation from her beloved Son, when He would be led to the death of the Cross in front of her eyes.

The Virgin Mary of Sorrows- Seven Swords is also known as the “prophecy of Simeon”. Honored by the Church on August 13th.

Lithography in Antique Painting Technique: Characteristics

Using a lithographic copy of Byzantine art, the hagiographer, a monk of Mount Athos, created this work following the traditional method of artificial aging, followed by the monks in the Virgin Mary’s Garden.

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