Monday, March 31, 2008

Post 28. The Two Miriams ( Mary) in Jesus' Life.

(To Luthien from Norway).
One of the most ancient and naively anthropomorphic icons of
the Most Holy Trinity
that Hebrews and Moslems
hypocritically, unfairly, dihonestly
and above all,
uncomprehendingly and unscholarly-like,
if even not maliciously,
insist taking at face value, i.e., anthropomorphically.
How else can a human and humane creature
who is desperately and agonisingly
in love
with God's Mystery,
attempt to express the necessarily, humanly crippled understanding
of
three spiritual essences making One single and united Spirit,
the One and only God,
by an attempt to reach God "from below" (i.e., through the human being ),
which is, unlike the one "from above"
(i.e., the essentially non-human [ let us have the courage to say this ] Spirit, Jehovah)
the only one possible for the average believer who,
arrogantly having chosen too steep a cliff to climb
(i.e., the meeting with God's Divinity),
eventually falls-off, spent, from the cliff,
into the idolatry of pantheism
( i.e., inclusive of all the little petty, nasty little human fantasies/illusions/delusions).
Take care you fools!
La', ila laa', illaa' Allah!
St. John the Baptist,
Jesus's cousin
and traditionally representing until his death without issue
the 'Zadok', the Most-High Priest of Israel
( How different He look from our clergymen and women of any denomination!
I wonder why?).
( See Sir Laurence Gardner ).
Holy Mary,
( of the Houses of Joseph [ Manasseh & Ephraim] and David [Judah ] )
the Mother of Jesus.

A fresco possibly showing Mary the Mother of Jesus standing behind and holding Mary Magdalene hugging and holding the child Jesus while being kissed by him.
The fresco in this photo is located in one of the darkest recesses in one of the most ancient churches in the centre of Como, a city on Lake Como, Lombardy, Italy, dedicated to St. Fedele ( St. Faithful ). The Church was built in the times of Constantine ( 300-400+A.D.), and I estimate the painting as being earlier than 1000 A.D. I would be grateful to any expert commenting on this.
I took its photo in 2004 and since then I never gave much thought to the younger woman in a black mantle being kissed by the child Jesus. A few months ago (2007 ) I began reading Laurence Gardner's Books on the Sacred Line of the Holy Grail Kings ( S.L.H.G.K.) and about St. Mary Magdalene and realized that it is quite possible that the young lady in black might have been intended by the painter to represent St. Mary Magdalene. If correct, this fresco may be telling us that, at the time the fresco was painted, a tradition existed in Como of respect for and veneration of the Magdalene.
We know for a fact that this tradition began in France with the landing on the french side of the sea-coast of Languedoc, a region then straddling the Pyrenees mountains, of jewish, christian missionaries and refugees from the Middle East, escaping from the roman persecutions of the Jews after the destruction of the Temple, in ca. 70 A.D. There existed already in Ireland and in the british islands, according to other similar traditions, families connected to the S.L.H.G.K. by blood-ties going back to the times of Moses ( whom Gardner believes to have been pharao Akhenaten alias Amenhotep IV) and to those of the prophet Jeremiah.
At approximately the time Mary Magdalene, whom an ancient tradition considers as a more learned and charismatic figure than any of the Apostles, with the exception perhaps of St. Paul, landed in Languedoc, later moving to the area around Marseille, some jewish-christians also crossed the Pyrenees and moved to the area around Barcelona, where the mountains of Montserrat north of Barcelona became in fact the sites of christian anchorites who were later absorbed by the benedectine Monastery of Montserrat, founded in 1030, when Rome began to proscribe and reject these traditions for various politically justifiable reasons.
In the Valley of the Rhone river a Prince of the House of Herod had been given by the Romans sanctuary and possessions, and the Magdalene, who belonged to one of the traditionally most important priestly families in Israel, might have been able to benefit from his generosity. If it is true that the Magdalene may have been accompanied by Jesus' children ( a girl and two boys ) at the time of the landing in France, it is possible she may have entered into a highly ritualized matrimonial covenant with Jesus, before his death and Resurrection, in accordance to the ancient priestly traditions of the Hebrew nation which the Essenes' community had revived, for the purpose of producing heirs to the House of Joseph ( of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh as well as of Judah ), also in order to continue the traditional lines of virtual personas harbouring the spiritual powers of Angels and of ancient kingly and priestly biblical key-persons. On these tradition is founded the belief that there is even to-day a S.L.H.G.K. These traditions cannot be disproved, dismissed or slighted except by recurring to theological dogmas and the authority of roman prelates which cannot either be dismissed, opposed or slighted from a purely religious perspective, but which I am prepared to normalize with the present traditions of freedom of worship and separation of Church from State. Someone is required to integrate and synthetise the lot extracting what is common and fundamental ( the ethical code and christian ethos for example ) to all and not negotiable, leaving the rest to be accepted by a person according to conscience. I feel the S.L.H.G.K.' traditions should in fact be reconsidered as to whether these can better fulfil in to-day's existing scenarios and threats, some historical goal of paramount, ethically sound, worthwhile political value to the civilization which is holding these traditions, in the same spirit that Rome and Judaism chose to oppose, dismiss and hide these in the past, for equally politically justifiable, however different scenarios. Gardner's failure to recognize the contributions of the Roman Empire to our civilization and the right its leaders had to defend it from the people from the steppes ( the descendants of some of which are even to-day threatening us ), is a negative aspect of his narrow conclusions and visions for our present era, in relation to the S.L.H.G.K.' traditions. While being flexible and constructive in relation to change due to normal historical evolution and world-view, within an acceptable and viable ethical system and code of morality is essential to survival ( the ethical system and code of morality must remain a fixed, non-negotiable datum in the whole exercise of normalization ), fanaticism, inflexibility about and narrowness of world-view can only lead to failure.
Lastly, in order to recapitulate all these traditions, something Gardner has done better than I shall ever be able to do, at the same time that the Magdalene was landing in France, Jesus' brother, James, who had inherited the family traditional title of Arimathea when Jesus had become both the Messiah, the King as well as the Zadok High Priest ( Melchizedek the High Priest mentioned in both Genesis and Hebrews), when his cousin John the Baptist had died without issue, landed in England with a daughter who married into a british royal house. There may therefore be at least four lines of messianic blood merging, evolving and maturing one into the other in the course of time in the history of post-roman Europe. The one of Mary Magdalene would be the most close to Jesus and this is why the Magdalene has had such a hold on the respect and veneration of people who held, believed and hoped in these traditions, in the midst of the chaos and anarchy prevailing in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire of the West, between 400 and 1000 A.D.
The First-Art Works representing the Black Madonna came from Ferrieres a village on the Pyrenees mountains.
I have said above that the tradition about Mary Magdalene's closeness to Jesus began in the french side of Languedoc, and coincidentally or not the fact is that the first representations of the Black Madonna commemorating Mary Magdalene to people who respected and venerated her came from Ferrieres, a small village on the french slopes of the Pyrenees, located to the west of Lourdes.
I have also mentioned the mountains of Montserrat north of Barcelona where a monastery was founded by the Benedectine Order in 1030, on ground previously occupied by anchorites. A wooden statue from the eleventh century, of a Dark Madonna, is venerated in that Monastery and even St. Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuits promised eternal service to the Mother of Jesus kneeling in front of this satue, at the very beginning of his conversion, when he abandoned his clothes which distinguished him as a soldier and a knight, to begin his training for service in the Church. By the time this statue was made, the identities of Mary the Mother of Jesus and that of the Magdalene had somehow merged in the minds of those seeking consolation from the memories of the ancient, sweet, christian beginnings, which had been betrayed by Rome who wanted to erase demonstrations of piety toward the Magdalene, for various reasons. I am not going to discuss here. The Magdalene connection which is made explicit, unequivocal and transparent in the fresco shown in Post 6 e, is shown in the case of this statue of Our Lady of Montserrat, by the pine-cone the child-Jesus is holding in his right hand, and by the presence of two pine-cones, located at each of the lady's feet. The pine-cone is in fact an ancient Sumerian symbol, referring to fertility, immortality, supreme intellect, etc., attributes, the abundance of which was originally associated with the rulers of a nation.
Art-Works related to the tradition of the Black Madonna exist at the Benedectine Abbey/Monastery at New Norcia in Western Australia.
In a recent pilgrimage to the Benedectine Abbey/Monastery at New Norcia, founded in 1840 by spanish benedectine monks led by Ildefonso Salvado, located 132 km north-east of Perth in Western Australia, I was surprised, although a guiding hand must have directed me to this experience of discovery, to discover the presence of Art Works related to the Black Madonna's tradition and the wooden, 11th century statue of the Dark Madonna of Montserrat.
I shall publish photos of these findings at New Norcia in a following Post.
The link to the Montserrat statue is given by the gold pine-cone held by the child-Jesus in an Altar statue of the dark-skinned Madonna and Child. Two gold pine-cones are further located at the top of each of two risers at the sides of the back of the throne the Madonna is sitting on. There is also a Dark Madonna appearing on her own clearly standing on a moon-crescent. Finally the link to Montserrat is shown by a shield of the Montserrat Mountains centred in a compass of heraldic Fleur-de-Lis and concentric with a corniche in the shape of an eight-pointed star. The profusion of Lilies, like the pine-cone is unherringly pointing to the association with the mesopotamic traditions, connections and origins of the S.L.H.G.K.
Additional Art-Works related to the Mary Magdalene's tradition.
There is at St.Fedele in Como a further fresco of a Lady standing on her own but wearing a red mantle. This does not however exclude her from representing a mature Mary Magdalene since Gardner refers to paintings of a red robed Magdalene, i.e., One by Giotto Bondone, c. 1322, another by Nicolas Borras, c. 1580, the latter showing Mary Magdalene half kneeling between fully genuflected Benedict and Bernard. Fra Angelico also painted a Magdalene robed in red in c.1441. Finally there is a statue located at Paris (Neuilly-sur-Seine) of a standing Lady holding a child Jesus on her right-arm and a fleur-de-lis with her left-hand, both unambiguously black-skinned.
The unusually modern-looking wooden statue of a very young lady standing at play with the child Jesus observed inside the Gate-Church of our Lady of Merevale.
During my pilgrimage to England in 2004, I visited the Gate-Church at Merevale where three Ferrers' Brasses are located, including the damaged ( both the head and the feet are missing ) knight-effigy of William the Templar, who died at the siege of Acre, Palestine, in ca. 1194-97 A.D., wordly known as William Ferrers, Lord Tutbury, the 5th Earl of Derby, his Coat of Arms which was also his father's, Robert the first of the two great Ferrers who rebelled against the Crown, being represented among 61 of that family (deeply associated with the Templars since the foundation of that Order ) in the Great Hall ( Parlour Hall ) at Tamworth Castle ( just judged in a competition held a few months ago, as one of the top 10 Castles in medieval England ), in Staffordshire, Britain. Incidentally, the representation of the Arms of the two great rebels, both called Robert, the fourth and the eighth and last Ferrers-Earls of Derby, is really an illegal act, since the English law does not allow the heraldic commemoration of rebels to the Crown, irrespective of any available historical justification. or provocation by the Crown However, the Townshend/Ferrer person who commissioned the paintings of the Ferrers' Arms at Tamworth in the eighteenth century, willfully caused heraldic errors to be introduced and, in the case of the last Earl' Arms he had these located by far out of chronological sequence, also probably introducing an heraldic error in order to be able to distance himself from any blame for these having been represented at all. This is part of what I readily see as a Ferrers' Code in no way less intriguing than the famous Dan Brown's Da Vinci's Code, if one considers the history of the eight Ferrers-Earls in relation to their deep ties to the Order of the Knight-Templars. My attention inside the Gate-Church at Merevale was taken by a statue located on a marble corner-shelf near the knight-effigy. This is clearly visible at both Posts 6 a & b.
When asking who is it representing, I was told by the Anglican lady-rector that it was of course representing Mary the Mother and Jesus.
I believe now that it might represent the Magdalene as a young girl playng with Jesus. It would be interesting to know the origins of that statue . This would also be supported by the fresco at Como which shows a young Magdalene, however older than Jesus.
My feelings about the Como fresco at St.Fedele.
I find the Como-fresco at St.Fedele which shows the two women Jesus loved most during his short life on earth, to be a very healing, cheering and consoling art-work which somehow points at the nobility of the human female who was created as the Crown of Creation by a Loving Father, the purely spiritual celestial Jehovah, the Creator of All Reality.
Oh Lord! Let those therefore be chastised who are inclined to exploit, degrade, cheapen, vandalise, corrupt, and harm women.

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