illustration of the second of four advocations extolling Mary’s role
as advocate for spiritual and corporeal works of mercy is of intricate
composition. The cameo with mother and child is delimited by four
anchors, symbols of hope, security, and stability. This central
image is surrounded by five biblical scenes. Each one of them
depicts in miniature size a situation of danger, temptation or fault
with subsequent conversion and/or mercy:
the lower half center, we see the rendering of Saint Peter’s
vision of the large sheet filled with all animals of earth and sky
(Acts 10:11-12). Peter will have to change his opinion about what
is clean and unclean in order to comply with God’s will.
miniature to the left of Peter portrays a safe harbor (Psalm
108:30). Those who went off to sea experienced distress, but God
brought them to the harbor they longed for.
the right of Peter’s vision is a town-like agglomeration of
houses, churches and castles. They are a symbol of refuge for
the needy, possibly reflecting 1 Maccabees 10:13,14 and the
stronghold of Beth-zur.
upper left miniature tells about the rescue of Nabal, the evil
rich. His wife Abigail implores David to refrain from
vengeance. David relents and praises her saying: “Blessed be
your good judgment and yourself, who … have prevented me from
shedding blood” (1 Samuel 25:33).
fifth miniature, in the upper right corner, tells the story of
Adonijah, who in an attempt to become king turned against David,
his father. Abandoned by his followers, he “went and seized the
horns of the altar” in search of refuge against Solomon’s
vengeance. Solomon acted mercifully, and said to Adonijah: “Go
to your home” (1 Kings 2:49ff).
lemma reminds us that God loves all people (Psalm 87:4f.). It is
Mary’s role to bring God’s love into the world, to be the
intercessor for all, and to give hope and help to sinners.