Photo: Black Madonna of Einsiedeln. A Black Madonna or Black Virgin is a statue or painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she, and oftentimes the infant Jesus, are depicted with dark skin, especially those created in Poland in the medieval period or earlier. The Black Madonnas are generally found in Catholic and Orthodox countries. The term refers to a type of Marian statue or painting of mainly medieval origin (12th to 15th centuries), with dark or black features. The statues are mostly wooden but occasionally stone, often painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. The pictures are usually icons which are Byzantine in style, often made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy. There are about 400-500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in France, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by devotees. A few are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.
Let us consider that we are standing in God’s sight. We must please the divine eyes with the posture of our body as well as the measure of our voice.
(Cyprian of Carthage)
'The Complete Works of Saint Cyprian of Carthage'
By Cyprian (Author), Cyprian of Carthage (Author), Phillip Campbell (Editor)
Born about the year AD 200, Thascus Caecillius Cyprianus was the scion of an ancient and noble Roman family living in North Africa. A convert to Christianity in mid-life, Cyprian was acclaimed bishop of Carthage during a time of intense Empire-wide persecution by the Roman imperial authorities under the emperor Decius. In the twelve year span between his conversion and his martyrdom in AD 258 during the reign of Valerian, Cyprian wrote some of the most important foundational documents of the ante-Nicene Church. This volume contains the entirety of Saint Cyprian's writing--13 treatises and all of his correspondence, 82 letters in all. It also includes "The Life and Passion of Saint Cyprian" by his companion, Pontius the Deacon, as well as the minutes of the Seventh Council of Carthage over which Cyprian presided. His writings encompass the major issues of his day including the Roman persecutions, the unity of the Church, dealing with those who renounced the faith under threat from the state (the lapsi), the Novatian heresy and the rebaptism controversy. His correspondents included the most illustrious men of the early Latin Church, including three Popes--Cornelius, Stephen I, and Sixtus II. Read and cited frequently by theologians down through the ages, Saint Cyprian's writings are of surpassing authority and were considered works of genius "brighter than the sun" by Saint Jerome. Aside from their obvious ecclesiastical import, the works of Cyprian also offer a detailed and unique glimpse into Roman society at the height of the anti-Christian persecutions and demonstrate the growth and struggles of the early Church during a time of intense external political pressure. Based on the translation originally published as part of The Ante-Nicene Fathers , this new edition includes a new introduction, updated commentary, an updated bibliography, and several new appendices including "The Quotable Cyprian".