The great 4th century deacon and hymn-writer St. Ephrem of Syria meditated on the great paradox of the Son of God nursing at the breast of his human mother:
When [Jesus] sucked the milk of Mary, He was suckling all with Life. While He was lying on His Mother’s bosom, in His bosom were all creatures lying. He was silent as a Babe, and yet He was making His creatures execute all His commands. (Hymns on the Nativity, Hymn 3)
What a beautiful mystery!
[See also: Why Are Demons So Afraid of Mary?]
Many artists have chosen to depict this incredible fact with painting. Listed below, in no particular order, are 31 of them.
P.S. Among all the great relics of the Church, no one can seem to find the sacred nursing cover of the Blessed Virgin Mary…
1) The Virgin Nursing the Infant, by Lucas Cranach the Elder
2) Madonna Lactans, by anonymous master of Bruges
3) The Virgin Nursing the Child with St. John the Baptist in Adoration, by Giampietrino
4) Nursing Madonna, by Bernardino Luini
5) Madonna Nursing the Christ Child, by Master of the Legend of the Magdalen
6) Holy Virgin feeding Baby Christ with Her breast, by Юрий Рудницкий
7) Madonna and Child Nursing, by Anonymous
8) Madonna nursing the Child, by follower of Hans Memling
9) The Virgin nursing the Child, by Lucas Cranach the Elder
10) The Virgin Mary nursing the Christ Child, by Hans Memling
11) The Virgin Nursing the Child, by Pompeo Batoni
12) Triptych with the Madonna and Nursing Child with Saints, by Anonymous
13) The Virgin Nursing the Child, by Albrecht Dürer
14) Madonna Nursing, by Anonymous
15) Madonna nursing the Child, by Robert Campin’s workshop
16) Madonna nursing the Child, by Erasmus Quellinus II
17) Madonna and Child, by Bernardino Luini
18) Galaktotrophousa, by Master Ioannis
19) Virgen de Belen, by Marcellus Coffermans
20) Virgin and Child, by Hans Baldung
21) Sagrada Família, by Josefa de Óbidos
22) The Holy Family, by El Greco
23) Holy Family, by Adriaen van der Werff
24) Madonna with Child and Parrots, by Hans Baldung
25) Madonna with the Infant Christ and St John the Baptist, by Domenico di Pace Beccafumi
26) Maria met kind, by Anonymous
27) Virgin and Child, by Bernard van Orley
28) The Circumcision of Christ, by Michiel Coxie
29) Madonna with Child, by Rogier van der Weyden
30) Madonna col Bambino in gloria con i santi Martino e Caterina, by Moretto da Brescia
31) Madonna Lactans mit Josef und Johannesknabe, by Anonymous
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