Faith and business

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Apr 05 2015

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Category: Asia, India

1 Comment

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According to catholic doctrine Maria wasn’t deflowered before she conceived. In her case the Church speaks of the Virgin Birth of Christ and so Maria remained a virgin even while being a mother. Virgin and mother at the same time, that’s what makes her special. Maria is often depicted as a beautiful, virtuous young woman, with or without baby, like here in the church of Bom Jesus in Goa. What contrast with the image that keeps her son’s memory alive: Jesus dying or deceased, nailed onto the cross!

DSC00145 Old Goa - Bom Jesus - blog size

In another corner of the same Basilica of Bom Jesus we are confronted with an unusually bloody version of this scene. Probably it was made with the same urge for hyper-realistic reproduction of Christ’s torture and untimely death as moved Mel Gibson in his film The Passion of the Christ. I can hardly stand this; it repulses me rather than evoking compassion.

DSC00097 Old Goa - exposition of the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier-c

Around images of Maria, Jesus, Apostles, Saints, ….. the inevitable offering box is never far away. Faith is – also – business. Perhaps that’s why we are warned that “the greatest danger is to lose confidence in God”?

Photos of the week: Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral, Old Goa, India 2014

One comment on “Faith and business”

  1. Where you read above “Virgin Birth of Christ” I had written at first “Immaculate Conception”, but a good friend of mine (and a more knowledgeable former catholic) told me of my mistake. The Immaculate Conception has to do with Maria’s own birth and not the birth of her son. Maria is herself the result of the immaculate conception in her mother, a manoeuvre that was necessary since as the future mother of the son of God she had to be without the original sin, a stain every other human being is born with. Born without original sin she was absolutely pure and worthy of receiving the son of God in her womb and subsequently give birth to him while still being a virgin.


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