As we honour Our Blessed Lady in this month of May, a beautiful new icon entitled “Our Lady of Protection” has been written by Bernadette Reilly, a parishioners of St Bartholomew’s Coatbridge. Bernadette also produced the icon of “Jesus Our Teacher” in 2018 or the centenary of the 1918 Education Act.
Bernadette writes “The work for this icon began in August 2020 when an image of Our Mother Mary came strongly into my mind, her mantle spread open in her outstretched arms, sheltering all her children from the darkness and danger and fears surrounding us because of the Covid pandemic.
Her light radiates against the threatening darkness overhead and her feet, crushing the head of the serpent, touch the whole world with her blessing. The Holy Spirit hovers over all the earth. Although the image shows Our Lady's powerful protection over the whole world, I especially had the people of Scotland very much in my heart when I was writing it and I have included the thistle, heather and bluebells.”
Bernadette continues “I pray that the image in this icon helps us all to love and trust Our Lady more every day and that it inspires complete trust in her faithful protection.
Although the covid situation is improving for us here, there are still places suffering terribly. Therefore we can ask Our Lady to continue to help. Most importantly, we can thank her for her past protection which has brought us this far."
The full icon show shown below along with some close up views, highlighting the small details contained within the icon.
There is also a prayer accompanying the icon with the words of Our Lady to St Juan Diego at Guadalupe:
Listen, put it into your heart My youngest and dearest child That the thing that frightens you, The thing that afflicts you, is nothing: Do not let it disturb you. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you nt under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle; In the crossing of my arms? What else could you possibly need? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you. Amen.
Icon by and copyright of the artist Bernadette Reilly © Used with kind permission.