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4. God with Our Lady's attributes

Why is God so often depicted with the iconographic attributes of the Madonna in the Pieta, and, more rarely, with the naked baby Jesus on his knees? It is believed that God the Father, like the Virgin Mary, experienced deep pain and sorrow as He witnessed the suffering and death of His Son, Jesus The sorrow of God in this context also reflects the magnitude of the sacrifice that was made for the salvation of humanity. It is a reflection of God's love and compassion for humanity and His desire for reconciliation with His creations. This concept seems to have emerged during the late 14th and early 15th century. It is believed that this idea was influenced by a series of other images that depicted the wounded body of Christ on the cross. 


Suggested Bibliography

François Bœspflug, «Dieu En Mère ?», Revue des sciences religieuses [Online], 83/1 | 2009, URL:; DOI:

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