The Many Faces of Mary
I celebrated my first Communion in 1967. Of the many religious gifts I received, my absolute favorite was a statue of Mary. She wore a beautiful pastel dress and had flowing blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes. Even more exciting, she played “Immaculate Mary.” The statue received a place of honor in my bedroom which, according to my concerned mother, looked more like a shrine. Part of my bedtime routine, was to pray the Hail Mary in front of Mary. Then I took a moment of silence before winding up the mechanism and listening to “Immaculate Mary” as I quietly hummed along.
A couple of years later I realized that in real life Mary didn’t have blonde hair or wear pastel robes, and she had only herself as the immaculate conception until fairly recently. This came as a spiritual shock, and I felt betrayed; however, my curiosity of who Mary was and what she may have looked like was piqued.