Sunday, December 23, 2012 | Categories: Documentaries |
(Photo Pin / Sebastian Bergmann)
Queen of Heaven. Mother of Mercy. Blessed Madonna. She is the most famous mother in western history.
The Virgin Mary. The Bible has little to say about her. No grand titles. She is simply Mary, mother of Jesus.
But for centuries the faithful have given praise, offered prayers, sought her comfort and petitioned for her help.
Artists from Raphael to Botticelli to Leonardo Da Vinci have found inspiration in Mary. Most famously, there is Michelangelo's powerful and poignant Pietà, Mary cradling the limp body of her crucified son. And, of course there is music. Beautiful music. All celebrating the gentle, loving archetype.
The bestselling Irish writer Colm Tóibín has imagined a very different Mary. Gone is the tender mother, grief-stricken by her Son's sacrifice, but ready to submit to God's greater design for human salvation.
In Tóibín's new novel The Testament of Mary, he presents a woman who is angry, resentful, and guilt-ridden. Set twenty years after the crucifixion of her son, we meet a Mary now living in exile in Ephesus. She is both protected - and guarded - by two men. Though not named, they are followers of Jesus, busy with the task of writing the Gospels. They seek her corroboration of the "greatest story ever told." She is having none of it.
Frank Faulk's documentary is called, The Testament of Mary.