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Svenska teologiska institutet–Swedish Theological Institute Besöksadress: Swedish Theological Institute , 58 Prophets' Street, Rehov Haneviim 58, Jerusalem, Israel Postadress: Swedish Theological Institute , PO BOX 37, IL 910 0001 Jerusalem, Israel , IL 910 0001 Jerusalem, Israel Telefon:+972 2 625 3822, Fax: (+972) 02 - 625 44 60 E-post till Svenska teologiska institutet–Swedish Theological Institute

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Mary, the Mother of God

Because of her child, Mary is by far the most depicted woman in history. According to classical iconography, she is wearing a dark red robe with a golden border and adorned with three star-like golden crosses, which symbolize her virginity before and during her pregnancy as well as after the birth of her child. Red is the color of divine love, while blue is the symbol of the human. The combination of red and blue in Mary´s dress can thus be interpreted as expressing the union of the divine and the human.

Bild: Håkan Bengtsson

Mary´s head is surrounded by a halo, and the Greek letters are taken from the first and last letters of the word Meter Theou – "Mother of God". This designation entered the theology and liturgy of the Church at an early stage. It is implicit already in Luke 1: 43, where Elizabeth addresses Mary as the “mother of my Lord."

The Virgin Mary is God's special instrument when he sent his Son into the world. No human being can receive a greater calling than she: to bear the Word of God in human form. It is hard to imagine coming closer to the divine.