Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

New Icon for UR Newman Community

October 22nd, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

"Mother of God" icon by Minhhang K. Huynh, UR Newman Catholic Community


One of our staff writers learned of the appearance of a new piece of liturgical art in our diocese. The UR Newman Community recently unveiled a newly created Marian icon.

The Community’s October 16 bulletin mentions that the Newman Community had started (in 1999) a small collection of images of the Blessed Mother from the many cultures of its students. The collection has grown to over 15 images.

The bulletin also explains that over seventy people were involved in the current selection and commissioning of a Marian image and the composition of a related prayer. Apparently, holy cards have been printed.

Well known local liturgical artist Minhhang K. Huynh was commissioned to ‘write’ a Byzantine/Eastern style icon. It is a stunningly beautiful work. Its prototype is the “Mother of God Eleousa (the Merciful)” or the “Mother of God Oumilenie (of affectionateTenderness).” From what Father Brian Cool, Director of Catholic Pastoral Care, wrote in the bulletin concerning the icon it seems the community wishes to stress Mary’s virtue of Mercy.

Mercy (Eleousa) and affectionate tenderness (Oumilenie) are two aspects of the basic Eleousa prototype.


Even though in both cases (Eleousa and Oumilenie) the faces of Mother and Child are touching affectionately, Eleousa and Oumilenie express two different aspects of the icon of the Mother of God: Eleousa refers to the virtue of Mary, mercy, Oumilenie refers to the sentiment experienced by the Child, following the intervention of his Mother, of affectionate Tenderness. The name Eleousa pertains directly to the Mother, whereas the name Oumilenie pertains to the Child.[1]

Among several ways the icon unites mother and child is the very nice alignment of contours that join the two figures into an intimate embrace of tenderness.

Father Cool added some personal observations on the icon in the Community Sunday bulletin:

“Honestly, my breath is taken away when I look at this image. Look at it from many angles. Ponder the subtle and the not so subtle. Pray with it and let it lead you to the sane devotion Mary had to Christ whom she holds so tenderly and close. …I believe this is the most significant project that I have been part of while here at Newman. It will inspire many for generations.”

A previous related post here.



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