Q: How is the cedar tree a symbol of Mary?

A: The cedar is a well-known symbol of Mary; it is not an object that gave rise to an official or even important title of Mary, meaning a name under which Our Lady would have been invoked for her intercession and help. There are no known miraculous images of Mary responding to this name or title. But as mentioned, the cedar tree became a well known symbol for Mary during the middle ages. The cedar is mentioned in Sirach 24,13ff. It is known as the cedrus exaltata, the exalted cedar. Mary has been exalted like the cedar tree. Fragrance and oil of the cedar repels and destroys snakes, symbol of evil. Similarly, Mary protects the Church and its message against heresy. The cedar is known for its longevity and resistance to decay. Similarly, Mary's sinlessness is an expression of immortality and absence of bodily degeneration. The cedar is a tall and noble tree. It becomes thus a symbol for Mary's considerable spiritual stature, excellence and human perfection in God.


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