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Author Topic: Christmas’ missing icon: Mary breastfeeding Jesus  (Read 15288 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2012, 04:53:20 PM »

Florida shrine devoted to Mary nursing:
http://www.missionandshrine.org/la_leche.htm
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What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2012, 05:39:51 PM »

These images bother me!







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« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2012, 05:57:41 PM »

Breast feeding isn't a big deal, but most I know have a cover for themselves since its inappropriate to expose yourself. I have to say that the Theotokos' exposure in those icons is wrong. At least cover her up, you can convey the same message in a better fashion.

It is only considered innapropriate in modern WASPy american culture.



This.

If folks are so squeamish about women breastfeeding, even if they do so discreetly, then perhaps they should sanitize this passage which is part of the standard Gospel reading during the Divine Liturgy on feasts of the Mother of God:

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed!”


There are also a good number of Theotokia which refer to her suckling Christ - should these be edited as well so as not to offend their delicate sensibilities?   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #48 on: December 13, 2012, 06:00:39 PM »

These images bother me!









They bother me as well. Yes, I know that they are not from Orthodox tradition, but where's the theological or doctrinal justification for anyone other than Christ to feed from the Mother of God's breast? Good grief!
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« Reply #49 on: December 13, 2012, 06:02:18 PM »

These images bother me!









WOAH. who is that anyway? They bother me too.  Undecided
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« Reply #50 on: December 13, 2012, 06:06:42 PM »

It's St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

You can read about the story behind these images here
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« Reply #51 on: December 13, 2012, 06:13:00 PM »

It's St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

You can read about the story behind these images here

Nothing like throwing a bucket of cold water on Orthodox outrage....The pics are still weirding me out though...
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« Reply #52 on: December 13, 2012, 06:28:10 PM »

God acts in strange ways.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)
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« Reply #53 on: December 13, 2012, 06:49:55 PM »

God acts in strange ways.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

There is a world of difference between having the pure and innocent faith of a child, and presuming to suckle from the breast that God Himself was fed from. What sort of person dares to touch the living Ark? And in such a way? There is so much that is wrong with this "vision" of St Bernard. The description of the Virgin moistening his lips moistened with her milk is one thing - but the idea of her giving him her breast to suckle, and the reason why, flies in the face of a true and proper regard for the Mother of God. It's simply bad theology.
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« Reply #54 on: December 13, 2012, 08:19:24 PM »

Breast feeding isn't a big deal, but most I know have a cover for themselves since its inappropriate to expose yourself. I have to say that the Theotokos' exposure in those icons is wrong. At least cover her up, you can convey the same message in a better fashion.
It is only considered innapropriate in modern WASPy american culture.
No. As Jetavan pointed out in another thread, many people here (in my cultural region) are some form of Scots-Irish Protestants, not exactly Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Smiley
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« Reply #55 on: December 13, 2012, 08:21:32 PM »

This.

If folks are so squeamish about women breastfeeding, even if they do so discreetly, then perhaps they should sanitize this passage which is part of the standard Gospel reading during the Divine Liturgy on feasts of the Mother of God:

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed!”


There are also a good number of Theotokia which refer to her suckling Christ - should these be edited as well so as not to offend their delicate sensibilities?   Roll Eyes
I think most wouldn't have a problem with that. It's the seeing it that's the problem. Tongue
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« Reply #56 on: December 13, 2012, 08:32:35 PM »

Breast feeding isn't a big deal, but most I know have a cover for themselves since its inappropriate to expose yourself. I have to say that the Theotokos' exposure in those icons is wrong. At least cover her up, you can convey the same message in a better fashion.
It is only considered innapropriate in modern WASPy american culture.
No. As Jetavan pointed out in another thread, many people here (in my cultural region) are some form of Scots-Irish Protestants, not exactly Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Smiley
Same thing, God's Frozen People from the British Isles.

btw, you are aware that the Irish national anthem refers to the Scots-Irish Protestants as the "Saxon Foe"?
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« Reply #57 on: December 13, 2012, 08:33:27 PM »

God acts in strange ways.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

There is a world of difference between having the pure and innocent faith of a child, and presuming to suckle from the breast that God Himself was fed from. What sort of person dares to touch the living Ark? And in such a way? There is so much that is wrong with this "vision" of St Bernard. The description of the Virgin moistening his lips moistened with her milk is one thing - but the idea of her giving him her breast to suckle, and the reason why, flies in the face of a true and proper regard for the Mother of God. It's simply bad theology.
As are visions in general.
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« Reply #58 on: December 13, 2012, 09:00:28 PM »

Same thing, God's Frozen People from the British Isles.

btw, you are aware that the Irish national anthem refers to the Scots-Irish Protestants as the "Saxon Foe"?

I don't think I've ever heard the Irish anthem, and I didn't know that.
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« Reply #59 on: December 13, 2012, 10:05:34 PM »

Breast feeding isn't a big deal, but most I know have a cover for themselves since its inappropriate to expose yourself. I have to say that the Theotokos' exposure in those icons is wrong. At least cover her up, you can convey the same message in a better fashion.
It is only considered innapropriate in modern WASPy american culture.
No. As Jetavan pointed out in another thread, many people here (in my cultural region) are some form of Scots-Irish Protestants, not exactly Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Smiley
Same thing, God's Frozen People from the British Isles.

btw, you are aware that the Irish national anthem refers to the Scots-Irish Protestants as the "Saxon Foe"?
Was the anthem specifically referring to the Scots-Irish specifically, or to the initiators of the colonization, King James and the English powers?
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« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2012, 12:10:19 AM »

Breast feeding isn't a big deal, but most I know have a cover for themselves since its inappropriate to expose yourself. I have to say that the Theotokos' exposure in those icons is wrong. At least cover her up, you can convey the same message in a better fashion.
It is only considered innapropriate in modern WASPy american culture.
No. As Jetavan pointed out in another thread, many people here (in my cultural region) are some form of Scots-Irish Protestants, not exactly Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Smiley
Same thing, God's Frozen People from the British Isles.

btw, you are aware that the Irish national anthem refers to the Scots-Irish Protestants as the "Saxon Foe"?
Was the anthem specifically referring to the Scots-Irish specifically, or to the initiators of the colonization, King James and the English powers?
Not that it matters much-King James I of England was first King James VI of Scotland-but the anthem dates from the 19th century, as it also refers to Irish Americans coming to fight the "Saxon foes."  The song was set down in 1907.  It would be the Scots-Irish, rather than the Anglo-Saxon English, that they were fighting off in Ireland then.
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« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2012, 04:09:58 AM »

God acts in strange ways.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

There is a world of difference between having the pure and innocent faith of a child, and presuming to suckle from the breast that God Himself was fed from. What sort of person dares to touch the living Ark? And in such a way? There is so much that is wrong with this "vision" of St Bernard. The description of the Virgin moistening his lips moistened with her milk is one thing - but the idea of her giving him her breast to suckle, and the reason why, flies in the face of a true and proper regard for the Mother of God. It's simply bad theology.

And what kind of person dares to eat God Himself?

We receive Holy Communion because we were commanded by Christ Himself to do so. We are unworthy, yet we receive. St Bernard saw a private vision, and suckled to "receive divine wisdom" through the Virgin's milk - surely this is heresy! It is Christ who is God's Wisdom and Word, and He did not receive His wisdom from His mother's milk.
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« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2012, 09:39:06 PM »

Returning to the Milk-giver icon:

A few of the many hymns which deal with the matter, from a variety of Orthodox services:

Without seed you gave birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father, O Mother of God. O strange wonder! you nourished Him at your breast while remaining a virgin.

Search the Scriptures, as Christ our God said in the Gospels, for in them we find Him brought to birth and wrapped in swaddling clothes, nursed and suckled, accepting circumcision and carried by Symeon, not in imagination, but in truth appearing to the world. To Him let us cry, ‘God before the ages, glory to You!’

All of us, the generations of men, bless you as the Virgin who, alone among women, gave birth without seed to God incarnate; for the fire of the Godhead made His abode within you, and you nurtured the Creator and Lord with milk as a babe. Therefore, we, the race of angels and men, cry out to you together: Entreat Christ our God, that He grant remission of offences to those who with faith honor your all-holy birthgiving.

All the choirs of Angels were amazed, pure Virgin, at the dread mystery of your child-bearing: how He who by His will alone upholds the universe is held as a mortal in your arms, and how the Pre-eternal accepts a beginning, and He who nourishes everything that breathes by His ineffable goodness is suckled at the breast. And as they praise you as truly God’s Mother, we glorify you.

The Creator of the ages, who fulfilled the law as a babe of eight days, is circumcised in the flesh; He is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a mortal and He is nourished with milk, who holds all things by His infinite strength as God, and ends them in an instant.

Icons are the visual counterpart of hymns, and both represent and proclaim what the Church teaches and believes.
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« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2012, 09:51:45 PM »

Returning to the Milk-giver icon:

A few of the many hymns which deal with the matter, from a variety of Orthodox services:

Without seed you gave birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father, O Mother of God. O strange wonder! you nourished Him at your breast while remaining a virgin.

Search the Scriptures, as Christ our God said in the Gospels, for in them we find Him brought to birth and wrapped in swaddling clothes, nursed and suckled, accepting circumcision and carried by Symeon, not in imagination, but in truth appearing to the world. To Him let us cry, ‘God before the ages, glory to You!’

All of us, the generations of men, bless you as the Virgin who, alone among women, gave birth without seed to God incarnate; for the fire of the Godhead made His abode within you, and you nurtured the Creator and Lord with milk as a babe. Therefore, we, the race of angels and men, cry out to you together: Entreat Christ our God, that He grant remission of offences to those who with faith honor your all-holy birthgiving.

All the choirs of Angels were amazed, pure Virgin, at the dread mystery of your child-bearing: how He who by His will alone upholds the universe is held as a mortal in your arms, and how the Pre-eternal accepts a beginning, and He who nourishes everything that breathes by His ineffable goodness is suckled at the breast. And as they praise you as truly God’s Mother, we glorify you.

The Creator of the ages, who fulfilled the law as a babe of eight days, is circumcised in the flesh; He is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a mortal and He is nourished with milk, who holds all things by His infinite strength as God, and ends them in an instant.

Icons are the visual counterpart of hymns, and both represent and proclaim what the Church teaches and believes.

I'm not saying they are wrong, just I won't have one in my home.  I find them distasteful.
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« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2012, 09:54:21 PM »

Returning to the Milk-giver icon:

A few of the many hymns which deal with the matter, from a variety of Orthodox services:

Without seed you gave birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father, O Mother of God. O strange wonder! you nourished Him at your breast while remaining a virgin.

Search the Scriptures, as Christ our God said in the Gospels, for in them we find Him brought to birth and wrapped in swaddling clothes, nursed and suckled, accepting circumcision and carried by Symeon, not in imagination, but in truth appearing to the world. To Him let us cry, ‘God before the ages, glory to You!’

All of us, the generations of men, bless you as the Virgin who, alone among women, gave birth without seed to God incarnate; for the fire of the Godhead made His abode within you, and you nurtured the Creator and Lord with milk as a babe. Therefore, we, the race of angels and men, cry out to you together: Entreat Christ our God, that He grant remission of offences to those who with faith honor your all-holy birthgiving.

All the choirs of Angels were amazed, pure Virgin, at the dread mystery of your child-bearing: how He who by His will alone upholds the universe is held as a mortal in your arms, and how the Pre-eternal accepts a beginning, and He who nourishes everything that breathes by His ineffable goodness is suckled at the breast. And as they praise you as truly God’s Mother, we glorify you.

The Creator of the ages, who fulfilled the law as a babe of eight days, is circumcised in the flesh; He is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a mortal and He is nourished with milk, who holds all things by His infinite strength as God, and ends them in an instant.

Icons are the visual counterpart of hymns, and both represent and proclaim what the Church teaches and believes.

I'm not saying they are wrong, just I won't have one in my home.  I find them distasteful.

If you heard these hymns in church, would you find them distasteful?
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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2012, 09:56:20 PM »

Returning to the Milk-giver icon:

A few of the many hymns which deal with the matter, from a variety of Orthodox services:

Without seed you gave birth in time to the timeless Son of the Father, O Mother of God. O strange wonder! you nourished Him at your breast while remaining a virgin.

Search the Scriptures, as Christ our God said in the Gospels, for in them we find Him brought to birth and wrapped in swaddling clothes, nursed and suckled, accepting circumcision and carried by Symeon, not in imagination, but in truth appearing to the world. To Him let us cry, ‘God before the ages, glory to You!’

All of us, the generations of men, bless you as the Virgin who, alone among women, gave birth without seed to God incarnate; for the fire of the Godhead made His abode within you, and you nurtured the Creator and Lord with milk as a babe. Therefore, we, the race of angels and men, cry out to you together: Entreat Christ our God, that He grant remission of offences to those who with faith honor your all-holy birthgiving.

All the choirs of Angels were amazed, pure Virgin, at the dread mystery of your child-bearing: how He who by His will alone upholds the universe is held as a mortal in your arms, and how the Pre-eternal accepts a beginning, and He who nourishes everything that breathes by His ineffable goodness is suckled at the breast. And as they praise you as truly God’s Mother, we glorify you.

The Creator of the ages, who fulfilled the law as a babe of eight days, is circumcised in the flesh; He is wrapped in swaddling clothes as a mortal and He is nourished with milk, who holds all things by His infinite strength as God, and ends them in an instant.

Icons are the visual counterpart of hymns, and both represent and proclaim what the Church teaches and believes.

I'm not saying they are wrong, just I won't have one in my home.  I find them distasteful.

If you heard these hymns in church, would you find them distasteful?

Hearing the word breasts and seeing breasts are different, so you will forgive my not understanding your attempt to correlate the two.
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« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2012, 10:13:30 PM »

If you heard these hymns in church, would you find them distasteful?

I agree with him in not wanting to have one in my house, but I wouldn't have a problem with these hymns. I suppose, for me at least, hearing is different than seeing.

For example, hearing about the nudity of Adam and Eve in the Garden is different than seeing pictures with them uncovered. Likewise, I realize Jesus had male genitalia, but I don't care to see it in icons, pictures, and statues.
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« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2012, 10:17:17 PM »

If you heard these hymns in church, would you find them distasteful?

I agree with him in not wanting to have one in my house, but I wouldn't have a problem with these hymns. I suppose, for me at least, hearing is different than seeing.

For example, hearing about the nudity of Adam and Eve in the Garden is different than seeing pictures with them uncovered. Likewise, I realize Jesus had male genitalia, but I don't care to see it in icons, pictures, and statues.
Additionally, I have always been under the impression icons were written in a certain style to avoid the problem of graven images and that style was to not be life like.
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« Reply #68 on: June 21, 2013, 12:35:22 AM »

Back to the original intent of this thread: Breastfeeding iconography.

I can't stand the icons because they make it look like Christ is biting the Theotokos. I understand that an icon isn't meant to be realistic in terms of anatomy. But the way they depict breastfeeding looks so uncomfortable that I wouldn't have many Milkgiver icons. But I do find the idea very beautiful. The Theotokos wouldn't have used a cover. But she also would have had a great deal more support than women do now. I think often about how Christ was nourished at her breast while I nourish my children. I am very thankful that God has allowed me to feed our children.  



image readjusted for viewing purposes, remember to add width=# (I used 750 here) after img in the code

Example:
(img width=750)http://catholiclane.com/wp-content/uploads/breastfeeding-mary.jpg(img) but instead of parentheses, use brackets. God bless.

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« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2013, 12:36:50 AM »

We finally agree on something.  I down like them either.
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« Reply #70 on: June 21, 2013, 12:41:07 AM »

You dislike them for very different (and in my view unhealthy) reasons.
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« Reply #71 on: August 07, 2013, 06:02:37 PM »

After (painfully) reading through 15 pages of tangents, I took some time picking out the posts that have to do with the original topic at hand. I plead to your kindness and common sense to not lead this to a tangent on (the apparently controversial) topic of breastfeeding in general, but to talk about the icon and divergences of the icon, with theological, liturgical, and spiritual significance.  I will ask that if you must talk about breastfeeding as a general topic or debate to post here.

God bless you all and may the blessings and intercessions of the Theotokos (who we are all I'm sure commemorating and celebrating at this time) be with us all.

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« Reply #72 on: August 07, 2013, 07:57:35 PM »

Just wanted to add this one since it has to do with the topic:

while I completely understand and value the symbolism in the OP icon, I find other icons of the Theotokos much more comforting and soothing. 

The first time I saw one like it was in Ukraine in a church....and I had to stop and do a double take.  This was years ago, and I was rather young...and almost felt offended on behalf of the Mother of God, that mankind should depict her in such a way.

Everyone knows she gave birth and fed the Christ child....however, she was always modest and covered up, and might be offended that her breast was showing (even if it is depicted as coming out of her shoulder instead of her chest - which makes it look even odder).

I have no issues with the icon and understand and appreciate the theology behind it, however, I would not hang one in my prayer corner.
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Kerdy
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« Reply #73 on: August 07, 2013, 09:34:24 PM »



while I completely understand and value the symbolism in the OP icon, I find other icons of the Theotokos much more comforting and soothing. 

The first time I saw one like it was in Ukraine in a church....and I had to stop and do a double take.  This was years ago, and I was rather young...and almost felt offended on behalf of the Mother of God, that mankind should depict her in such a way.

Everyone knows she gave birth and fed the Christ child....however, she was always modest and covered up, and might be offended that her breast was showing (even if it is depicted as coming out of her shoulder instead of her chest - which makes it look even odder).

I have no issues with the icon and understand and appreciate the theology behind it, however, I would not hang one in my prayer corner.

Works for me.  I agree.  I understand they why, I just do not think it is required or for that matter, helpful.
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Tags: iconography breastfeeding 
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