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  #1  
Old Nov 29, '06, 9:43 am
Franciscan Franciscan is offline
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Default What did Mary Look Like?

With the ongoing debate over Jesus' appearance: I think since he received his DNA from his mother the essential question is what did Mary look like?

On another thread someone proposed that Mary was unnattractive. I disagree. Regardless of her ethnicity, Mary was physically beautiful. Here's why:

I understand that beauty is more than skin deep. Our Lady is certainly the model of inner beauty. But it’s hard to believe that, in contrast to her immaculate nature, she was an ugly person on the outside. Consider the Song of Songs. When the indentity of the bride is attributed to Mary the Groom is the Holy Spirit singing her praises.

The first address the Holy Spirit says to Mary is, “O most beautiful among women’(1:8).
Again, “Ah you are beautiful my beloved, Ah you are beautiful”(1:16). These are just the first two addresses to the bride. If you read through the Song of Songs with Mary in mind as the bride(which is theologically correct) there’s no way you would come away thinking that she was probably unattractive.

The following titles were selected from the traditional litany to Mary. These I think hint at her external beauty:

Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most admirable,
Mirror of justice,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant.

Finally, in just about every account of the many apparitions including Fatima and Lourdes, the visionaries unanimously proclaim her beauty. This may have been due to her Assumption but if we consider that our glorified bodies are the truest version of our real selves then we could see that Mary was beautiful inside and out.
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  #2  
Old Nov 29, '06, 11:11 am
exoflare exoflare is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franciscan View Post
The first address the Holy Spirit says to Mary is, “O most beautiful among women’(1:8).
Again, “Ah you are beautiful my beloved, Ah you are beautiful”(1:16). These are just the first two addresses to the bride. If you read through the Song of Songs with Mary in mind as the bride(which is theologically correct) there’s no way you would come away thinking that she was probably unattractive.
You also have to remember that the ongoing theme in the books of the Old Testament, is representing spiritual realities with physical descriptions.

On the other hand, I'm just speaking of her body during her life here on earth. Things may be different in heaven, but I'm not the one to say...
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  #3  
Old Nov 29, '06, 11:14 am
exoflare exoflare is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

I think the Fatima children (among other visionaries) describe her as beautiful because of the Assumption. This effect would also make sense considering how Jesus' disciples (still in their earthly corrupt state) could not recognize Jesus at first, when he appeared to them after the resurrection.
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  #4  
Old Nov 29, '06, 11:54 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

I have no doubt Mary looked like many young women of her time and culture. Every culture has its definition of physical beauty and we have no way of knowing if Mary's physical appearance met those cultural standards or not. But, I think we've all known people who weren't beautiful by the standards of society but who were such kind, warm, generous, joyful people that they looked beautiful to us. I can't help but believe that even if Our Lady wasn't the model of physical perfection (according to the standards of her day, remembering there's no evidence she wasn't), she was the kind of person everyone wanted to be close to because of her virtue, love, and ineffable wisdom. Yes?
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  #5  
Old Dec 1, '06, 8:27 am
Franciscan Franciscan is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

I just came across this:

Documentary on Marian images to debut in December

Washington DC, Nov. 30, 2006 (CNA) - No one knows what she really looked like, yet the Blessed Virgin Mary stands among the most popular artistic subjects in history. Now, a stunning new documentary will explore how images of the Virgin, around the world, reflect numerous traditions, devotional practices and cultures.

Picturing Mary will debut next month on public television. Narrated by actress Jane Seymour, the one-hour program leads viewers on a pictorial journey through history from the earliest times to the present day, and presents a stunning array of art from 12 locations in eight different countries.

Picturing Mary is a joint effort of the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Communication Campaign and New York public television station Thirteen/WNET. The documentary follows their previous collaboration on the 2001 Emmy award-winning The Face: Jesus in Art.

Already more than 100 Public Television stations have scheduled the program to air in December. For a list of air dates and times, visit www.picturingmary.com.

“This program is a Christmas gift from the Catholic Communication Campaign to TV viewers,” says CCC Director of Production Ellen McCloskey. “In fact, many stations will present it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Like The Face: Jesus in Art, Picturing Mary will become a perennial television favorite during the Advent and Christmas seasons.”

DVD copies of Picturing Mary can be purchased from USCCB publishing at, http://www.usccbpublishing.org.
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  #6  
Old Dec 1, '06, 9:59 am
Roman_Catholic Roman_Catholic is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

Interesting topic.

How many liked the Mary portrayed in Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ?

How about the Mary in the new Nativity movie?
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  #7  
Old Dec 1, '06, 10:31 am
Franciscan Franciscan is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

The Passion of Christ Mary was not excessively beautiful. She was older, and tired looking. BUT this was a movie about her suffering as well as Jesus' suffering. So she was portrayed as a sorrowful person in black etc. And I think it was a good job of casting. She acted it well and she was convincing inspite of her avg. looks.
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  #8  
Old Dec 1, '06, 11:23 am
wcknight wcknight is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

Take a look at the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That should be the most accurate as it is just about a self portrait.
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  #9  
Old Dec 1, '06, 11:25 am
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chrisb chrisb is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

I believe she looked "jewish"...
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  #10  
Old Dec 1, '06, 8:25 pm
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wcknight View Post
Take a look at the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That should be the most accurate as it is just about a self portrait.
That is my favorite picture of Mary. The picture I have is a copy of the original (just face and shoulders portion). She is really beautiful, and her image seems to be a composite of all races. It amazes me every time I look at it.

Nita
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  #11  
Old Dec 1, '06, 8:36 pm
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mommyof4 mommyof4 is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Della View Post
I can't help but believe that even if Our Lady wasn't the model of physical perfection (according to the standards of her day, remembering there's no evidence she wasn't), she was the kind of person everyone wanted to be close to because of her virtue, love, and ineffable wisdom. Yes?
YES!
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  #12  
Old Dec 2, '06, 10:02 pm
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spauline spauline is online now
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franciscan View Post
With the ongoing debate over Jesus' appearance: I think since he received his DNA from his mother the essential question is what did Mary look like?

On another thread someone proposed that Mary was unnattractive. I disagree. Regardless of her ethnicity, Mary was physically beautiful. Here's why:

I understand that beauty is more than skin deep. Our Lady is certainly the model of inner beauty. But it’s hard to believe that, in contrast to her immaculate nature, she was an ugly person on the outside. Consider the Song of Songs. When the indentity of the bride is attributed to Mary the Groom is the Holy Spirit singing her praises.

The first address the Holy Spirit says to Mary is, “O most beautiful among women’(1:8).
Again, “Ah you are beautiful my beloved, Ah you are beautiful”(1:16). These are just the first two addresses to the bride. If you read through the Song of Songs with Mary in mind as the bride(which is theologically correct) there’s no way you would come away thinking that she was probably unattractive.

The following titles were selected from the traditional litany to Mary. These I think hint at her external beauty:

Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most admirable,
Mirror of justice,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant.

Finally, in just about every account of the many apparitions including Fatima and Lourdes, the visionaries unanimously proclaim her beauty. This may have been due to her Assumption but if we consider that our glorified bodies are the truest version of our real selves then we could see that Mary was beautiful inside and out.

I would say that a man could say all of the above in Song of Songs to a wife who was unnattractive in a worldly sense and yet was beautiful on the inside. Case in point, I know a woman whose face is somewhat distorted, ugly nose, misaligned eyes, not terribly intelligent, but I find her very beautiful and attractive because she is kind, cheerful, and humble. On the other hand, I can look of pictures of so-called beautiful women, like "Angelina" or "Britney", but I'm not turned on in the least. In fact, it makes me angry that men would desire such creatures that are most likely dead and in enmity with God (can't know that for sure, because Catholics don't judge subjective conditions, but I'd still say it's likely that neither of these women are even close to being in a state of grace).
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  #13  
Old Dec 2, '06, 10:11 pm
havemercy havemercy is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

She's my heavenly mother...Of course she's beautiful.
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  #14  
Old Dec 2, '06, 10:32 pm
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spauline spauline is online now
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

have mercy, that picture is great and funny!

scott
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  #15  
Old Dec 2, '06, 11:27 pm
lak611 lak611 is offline
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Default Re: What did Mary Look Like?

She probably looked like the typical Jewish woman of her day. She was beautiful because of her soul and spirit, not because of her appearance. Even today, too much emphasis is placed on physical characteristics of people (not just women, but men also). What is really important is the beauty or handsomeness that is inside of a person, not outside.
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