The Humility of The Polish Madonna
by Kaitlyn Mason
Art can refresh the soul sometimes when we need it most.
I have no idea who painted this beautiful image of The Polish Madonna. I recently saw it for sale from The Catholic Company on this page. But upon seeing it, I loved it, and this is probably my favorite painting of Mary and Jesus.
To an unknowing passerby, Mary and Jesus look just like any other Mother and child. But this remarkable pair changed the course of salvation history.
Here we see this Mother-Son duo in a candid snapshot of their lives here on Earth. Mary, who later would be crowned Queen of Heaven, is seen tending to laundry while toddler Jesus Christ plays quietly nearby.
In an ideal world, it would seem that a supreme and wonderful Mother like Mary would be able to spend her every moment playing with her child, making him laugh and smile.
In reality, Mothers must divide their time to meet the needs of their families. Every Mother finds herself washing dishes, tending to laundry, and cleaning toilets at times she would gladly rather be reading books to her children at a park. In reality, sometimes “something’s gotta’ give,” and multitasking means that children may not be fully clothed while you’re finishing things up – just like in this image.
The painting is a reminder that even Mary the Mother of God tended to menial tasks for the sake of her family and divine Son. Work is a part of God’s plan for our lives here on Earth. If Mary and Jesus were not exempt from this, then we must take up our crosses and labor for His Kingdom as well!
Did Mary know the fullness of God’s plan for her life as she hung up clothing to dry, gave baths, and prepared warm meals? Can we ever know the fullness of God’s plan for our own lives? Can we ever know the fullness of God’s plan for the lives of the little children entrusted to our care?
We can learn a lot from Mary’s humility in going along with God’s plan and laboring for a Kingdom that she probably couldn’t yet fully comprehend or foresee. We can learn a lot from her confidence in Christ!
May we carry ourselves with Mary’s humility and grace, with complete confidence in Christ and the eternal rewards He has in store for those who love Him!