Pedem Virginis Timeo

I Dread the Virgin's Foot

The Immaculata is victorious over the dragon symbolizing evil. Her foot--reaching down from heaven--will crush his head. The dragon, Satan, knows it, and therefore expresses his fear: I dread the Virgin's foot. This emblem makes allusion not only to Genesis 3:15 but also to Revelations 12:1 where the snake becomes a dragon ultimately vanquished by the Son of the mother he had persecuted.

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Omnes in Album

They All Reach the White Target

Three arrows are flying toward a target which hangs on a tree trunk. Its center or bull's eye is white, and bears the name of Mary. The white center is a symbol of Mary's purity and Immaculate Conception. The flying arrows may have several meanings:

According to Picinelli, they represent evil. This would mean that evil is deflected by the white bull's eye, meaning Mary's sinlessness. Thus, the arrows do not reach the center. However, the inscription tells us that they actually do reach their target. Thus, the meaning here is twofold. It means that the love of God, symbolized in the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, will be fully received by Our Lady. The other interpretation sees in the flying arrows the petitions of the people addressed to Mary. They will not miss their target; Mary is our faithful intercessor.

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Non Errabis

You Will Not Go Astray

Mary is standing on a column. Her right hand points the way, the right direction. The column is placed in the center of a crossroad. Whoever is watchful enough and lifts his eyes to the figure of Mary will not go astray. The crossroad is a symbol of the cross, our way to salvation. Mary has been placed on this road to point us in the direction of eternal salvation.

The column is a sign of exaltation and praise, but also of strength, fearlessness, and perseverance. Several theologians have called Mary columna rectitudinis, the column of rectitude upon which rests the world. Reference is made in this emblem to popular representations of Mary on top of a column, for example, the famous Munich Marian column (1638), and the even older and more famous column with Mary's statue in front of St. Mary Major in Rome (1614).

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Purior Hoc Utroque

Purer Than These Two

The emblem shows two hands: one holding a half filled glass, the other a lily. The inscription purer than those two refers to Mary. Mary is purer than the lily, reputed to be of the most exquisite of all tones of white. Likewise the significance of the glass: its crystal and content are fully transparent, but Mary's immaculateness exceeds its transparency. This emblem stands for the title mater purissima (purest of mothers) in the litany of Loreto.

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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by J. C. Tierney , was last modified Tuesday, 12/07/2010 15:28:09 EST by Michael P. Duricy . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.