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#271146 - 01/03/08 05:47 AM Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography?
Catholig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 18
Loc: California, USA
So why? Is there any symbolic meaning?

Catholig

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#271187 - 01/03/08 03:16 PM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Catholig]
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 23739
Loc: Canada
Dear Catholig,

She wears both red and blue, as does Her Son, OLGS Jesus Christ.

Our Lord is often presented in icons with a red tunic with a blue robe that is wrapped around Him. This signifies, theologically, that the Divine Word "wrapped" Himself in Flesh from the Most Holy Virgin Mary. Blue is the colour of our humanity i.e. since blood flowing through our veins is blue.

The colour pattern is the opposite for the Mother of God to signify her Theosis and great dignity being "wrapped" in the Divine Holy Spirit.

Most Holy Theotokos save us!

Alex

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#271651 - 01/06/08 01:13 AM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Orthodox Catholic]
Grecosiciliano Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Orthodox Catholic
Dear Catholig,

She wears both red and blue, as does Her Son, OLGS Jesus Christ.

Our Lord is often presented in icons with a red tunic with a blue robe that is wrapped around Him. This signifies, theologically, that the Divine Word "wrapped" Himself in Flesh from the Most Holy Virgin Mary. Blue is the colour of our humanity i.e. since blood flowing through our veins is blue.

The colour pattern is the opposite for the Mother of God to signify her Theosis and great dignity being "wrapped" in the Divine Holy Spirit.

Most Holy Theotokos save us!

Alex


I've seen many old images of the Theotokos, God-bearer, wearing red inner garment and a blue mantle...

In addition to red meaning divine and blue meaning earthly/human, didn't virgins wear red garments and mothers blue?...By this notion, Our Holy Theotokos, as Virgin Mother, wrapped her virginity with motherhood...divine with earthly...

Doesn't dark blue in Byzantine art also symbolize royalty/empress, as Mary is the Queen of Heaven?

Such a beautiful mystery!

Theotokos, comfort us and bring us close to your bosom, under your protective mantle, as you did to Our Lord, when He was a little child...

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#271658 - 01/06/08 02:15 AM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Grecosiciliano]
Miller Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 588
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Doesn't dark blue in Byzantine art also symbolize royalty/empress, as Mary is the Queen of Heaven?


Purple in iconography symbolizes royalty. In the Byzantine Empire the emperors and consorts were allowed to wear purple.

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#271780 - 01/07/08 01:05 AM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Miller]
Grecosiciliano Offline
Member

Registered: 01/05/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Miller
Quote:
Doesn't dark blue in Byzantine art also symbolize royalty/empress, as Mary is the Queen of Heaven?


Purple in iconography symbolizes royalty. In the Byzantine Empire the emperors and consorts were allowed to wear purple.


Thanks!

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#271840 - 01/07/08 01:59 PM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Grecosiciliano]
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 23739
Loc: Canada
Yes, purple was very expensive since it was taken from shell-fish on the bottom of the sea and it was a dangerous enterprise in those days to have to hold one's breath that long etc.

St Lydia, the first European convert of St Paul's, was a purple-seller and so was quite well off - and she used her wealth to assist Paul's missionary efforts and the early Church in her area.

To this day in England, there is the saying "born to the purple" to signify royalty.

In addition, the Theotokos is often depicted wearing red shoes, also an imperial privilege (often imitated by Popes too!).

Alex


Edited by Orthodox Catholic (01/07/08 02:00 PM)

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#271863 - 01/07/08 03:36 PM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Orthodox Catholic]
Priest's Grandson Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/06
Posts: 113
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: Orthodox Catholic


In addition, the Theotokos is often depicted wearing red shoes, also an imperial privilege (often imitated by Popes too!).

Alex


Interesting . . . I never thought about the Red Shoes being an imperial privilege . . . now I need to go back and review the lyrics to Elvis Costello's "Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes."

Yeah, I know, seems pretty far off topic, but these are the leaps my mind takes.

Dave

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#271865 - 01/07/08 03:58 PM Re: Why does Mary wear red in eastern iconography? [Re: Priest's Grandson]
Orthodox Catholic Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 23739
Loc: Canada
Dear Dave,

As a grandson of a priest myself, I tend to be like that myself.

Just ask the Administrator . . . or not . . . wink

Alex

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