photo by E. G. Schempf
Our Lady of the Nations
23" x 13" x 18"
Feast Day 13 May
Invoked for world peace
This representation of Our Blessed Mother was inspired by an icon of the Theotokos which hangs in Diveyevo convent, Russia. I wanted my interpretation to appear as if Our Lady had stepped out from behind a pearl encrusted riza. She is standing on an historic map of Russia, the pivotal country for world peace according to the Fatima message of 1917.
A message became clear to me as I pondered the concept of PSYOP ( psychological operations ) and centcom leaflets. I held a few of these leaflets and thought about the information printed upon them. What images would Our Lady use on leaflets to shower down upon us? What would be her message? The answer was simply the dove of peace.
The Blessed Mother holds a rosary of nation flags emerging from the womb of a partial globe. A globe layered with historic maps of countries in which there is no peace due to the failings of human beings. Palestine. Somalia. Afghanistan. North Korea. Iraq. Cuba. This rosary of global meditations is currently unending.
What each of us as human beings on this planet must learn is to be understanding, to have compassion, to be respectful, to seek harmony, and to have patience. These qualities must be mutually held by all in order for any hope of lasting world peace.
This was the flag that hung in the window of Rhett's paternal grandparent's home whilst his grandfather, Andrew Johnson , served his country during World War I. My maternal grandfather, Andrew Etter served during WWI also. Both of you are being thought of on this day of remembrance.