Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


(Seventh-century icon of Santa Maria Nova, Rome,
from Sister Wendy Beckett’s Encounters with God:
In Quest of the Ancient Icons of Mary

I was named after both of my grandmothers, my maternal one from Germany, and my paternal one from Hungary.

In some European countries, like Hungary, Catholics celebrate “Patron Saint Days” or “Name Days,” the feast day in the liturgical calendar of the saint after whom one is named. September 12 is the Feast Day of the Name of Mary. Since my father is Hungarian, we commemorated this day, only five days after my birthday, and I had two celebrations in one week.


Miriam, Mary, Maria, Marie,
What voweled jewel might this be?

Is it a sapphire love,
Of purest water true?
Or is it water of
A sapphire hue?

Miriam, Marie, Maria, Mary,
So crystal-cut, yet limpid, airy!

It flows in regal tones,
Glitters like both of these:
The sea-reflecting stones,
The jeweled seas.

Mary, Marie, Maria, Miriam,
Ocean of beryl,* sea-lit beryllium!

Gem for the Father’s Ring,
Stone of the Son’s great crown,
Glint on the Spirit’s wing,
Light poring down.

Miriam, Mary, Marie, Maria,
Pendant for my lips, Maria!

~ Angélico Chávez (1910-1996), Franciscan priest, poet, writer, fresco painter, and historian of New Mexico

* beryl - emerald and aquamarine are two varieties of this mineral; beryllium - rare metallic chemical element highly resistant to corrosion

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