Virgo Fidelis
Virgin Most Faithful

Mary, offering the Son resting on her lap to the world, is depicted inside a heart-shaped medallion which bears the inscription, "Her heart is faithful" (2 Esdras 9), and, "Faithful woman" (1 Corinthians 7).  The real reason for Mary's title is illustrated in the image below which features the crucifixion.  Mary is indeed the "faithful woman."  She is standing at the foot of the cross, her heart pierced with a sword.  The scenes right and left of the crucifixion seem to be of allegorical meaning.  The scene to the left may well allude to Ariadne and Theseus, the woman's thread leading the man safely through the labyrinth of Knossos.  Faithfulness warrants safety and right direction in life.  On the other side, the figure lowered from the window on a rope reminds of David.  Michal, David's wife and Saul's daughter, let "David down through a window, and he made his escape in safety" (1 Samuel, 20:12).  Michal is the loving and faithful wife standing by her husband, protecting him from her father's wrath.  The following lemma is an invitation to unwavering fidelity:

"Be faithful unto death" (Revelation 2).

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