Saturday, September 25, 2010


I admit, even in my atheistic post-Catholic brain-state,
to a certain obsession with statues of The Blessed Virgin Mary,
which are ubiquitous in Ireland. We encountered her
in roadside shrines, at holy wells, in gift shops.
And that's it -- an obsession, without any philosophical
rants or reasons or explanations.

BVM on the road to Rosmoney:

BVM at St. Patrick's holy well, in rain:

A bounty of BVM's in a gift shop at the shrine in Knock:

Ring of Kerry BVM:

Not the BVM, but a saint (Bridget? [Gidget?])) in North Mayo:


  1. I confess to a similar must be the cellular expression of my Irish Catholic ancestors. Depictions of the Virgin in Latin American folk art are my favorite. I have relics around the house, and if you didn't know me you might get the impression I am a devotee of the traditional church.

  2. i too share the obsession...come by it naturally, my given name is mary and i although i am a fully recovered catholic....i think i'm still in som respects a 'cultural catholic' ....

    wonderful collection, and last photo could be brigid/bridget, then again there's quite a few beloved saints in ireland

  3. I feel the same way. To me Mary was strong--epic. An epic woman. Whether she was a virgin or gave birth to Christ who cares? In her myth she was mother to a son who was killed. That's her story and it's a powerful story. We all need a hero now and then.

    wv: prosedom! (I dont have it)

  4. I hear you, T. Even though I regard myself as a recovered (okay, recovering) Anglican, I was a Catholic first, and you know the old saying -- "Once a Catholic..." BVM still has a place in my heart.

  5. T, you'd love French boot-sales. Virgins (Mary type) everywhere; mostly plain white porcelain. Even as a good atheist I'm strangely drawn to buying one.

  6. mouse, please tell me: how does one fully recover from Catholicism?

    RK: your take on the BVM is the only sane one. Thank you for this perspective.

    Cro, ahem...virgins everywhere??!! (Sure glad you clarified that.) (BTW, you're looking very painterly in that new photo.)