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Tattoo designs - V >> Virgin Mary

Virgin Mary Tattoo Design Meanings - The Virgin Mary has long been a popular religious tattoo design, particularly with women who wish to express their faith through the display of a feminine symbol.  Many early tattoo designs of Mary were copies of icons and paintings widely found in churches.  Mary was also a popular image among early seafarers, as a reminder not only to be virtuous, but also as a symbol of wives, mothers and sweethearts who waited in far off home ports.  Life at sea was often tough, dangerous, and for long months at sea bereft of any female presence, lonely.  The Virgin Mary was a symbol of the life left behind and an amulet of protection.

For the Catholic Church, the Virgin Mary (often referred to as 'BVM' for 'Blessed Virgin Mary') is believed to have conceived the baby Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  The Virgin Mary is held as a source of hope and comfort in times of trouble, and there are many prayers and feast days proclaiming her status as the Mother of Christ.  She exemplifies unconditional love and consolation for those who implore her help, Christian or otherwise. As such, she stands in for the mother of all who look to her for comfort.

Virgin Mary images

Madonna Tattoos DesignsThe Virgin Mary as 'mother' has always had a place in the hearts and minds of Christians.  Accounts of her standing at the foot of the Cross, then cradling the dead body of her son, have given inspiration to artists from the earliest times of Christianity.  The most familiar and celebrated work of Christian art might be Michelangelo's sculpture, "The Pieta".  Some of the greatest artists of all times have taken the Virgin Mary as their subject -- Fra Angelico, Giotto, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, to name a few.

Mary herself was said to be of an 'immaculate conception', a claim rejected by most Protestants.  The Koran also tells us that Jesus was born of a virgin.  The account of the angel's announcement is similar to that found in the Gospels.  Neither Christ nor his mother are given Divine status in the Koran, but both are regarded as "honoured servants of God" and the Virgin Mary is revered in Islam.  Many women everywhere look to her as a pillar of female strength and compassion, a Goddess in her own right, seeing in her the symbol of feminine divinity.

The Biblical gospels tell us that the Virgin Mary was born of the House of David, the daughter of Joachim and Anna.  The birth of Mary must also have been 'miraculous' because Anna was well past child bearing years, having been barren.  Mary fulfilled a longstanding prophecy that a virgin would bear a son who would be called Immanuel. The Koran refers to one who "guarded her chastity" and who fulfilled an earlier prophecy of conceiving her child through "a Word from the God".

Mary resided in Nazareth in Galilee, and it was during the time of her betrothal to Joseph that the Angel Gabriel announced to her that through the power of the Holy Spirit she would bear the child who would be the Messiah.  For a young virgin just betrothed, this was not the time to be announcing a pregnancy.  But she joyful accepted her fate in a prayer called the 'Magnificat'.

Sightings of the Virgin Mary always make news.  Thousands flock to the site of the miracle, hoping for cures and answers to their prayers.  In Lourdes, France, the Virgin Mary appeared to the young girl, Bernardette.  In Fatima, in Turkey, it was to a group of young children, and in 1531 in Guadalupe, Mexico, the Virgin appeared to a peasant, Juan Diego, telling him to pick the roses she had made to bloom on a chilly hillside as proof of her existence.  When he presented his evidence to the priests, roses fell out of his cloak, upon which an image of the Virgin appeared.

La Virgen de Guadalupe, or the Virgin of Guadalupe

Virgin Mary tattoo designs are very popular in Latino and Catholic cultures, with both men and women. She's known in Mexico as La Virgen de Guadalupe, or the Virgin of Guadalupe, and she holds a special place in the hearts of most Mexicans. The well-known icon shows a brown-skinned Mary, her hands clasped in prayer, casting a sombre downward look. She stands on a crescent moon, which is held up by an angel. Light emanates from her entire body. Because the history of the image is so 'Mexican', it has cultural as well as religious associations. The story goes like this:

Virgin Mary Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!Once upon a time-centuries ago-the Virgin revealed herself to a man for the purposes of having him build a church. Her instructions included the cryptic request to pick some roses, which, being winter, seemed absurd, yet there they were on a frozen hillside. The man gathered the roses in his poncho and presented them to the local priest, proclaiming a botanical miracle, but the greater miracle lay in the imprint left behind by the roses on the poncho-the likeness of the Virgin. That image-still in existence-has become the arch Latino religious tattoo design. And because of the symbolism of the roses, rose tattoo designs are among the most popular, and a potent symbol of faith among Latinos.

Get inspired by some great images and photos in our Virgin Mary Inspiration Gallery

See also: Religious Tattoo Index, Latino Tattoo Index

Find your own Virgin Mary Tattoo design at Tattoo Johnny

Tattoo designs - V >> Virgin Mary

Tattoo Symbol Index - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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