The house of prayer is surrounded by a GARDEN. This is the Icon. Our Blessed Mother holds little Jesus in her ARMS and contemplates him. In particular, with her right arm she is holding Jesus and the house, while her left arm embraces them both. At the same time her left HAND welcome s the faithful who arrive, whilst indicating and guiding them towards her Son, Who is the Saviour of the world.
"Among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his Mother... Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ" (cf. Rosarium Virginis Mariae, nos. 14, 15).
The artist decorated the icon using NATURAL ELEMENTS typical of Herzegovina, and accentuated the beauty of the stones, of the flowers, of the shrubs and trees and of the grass. Thus, nature glorifies Mary and her Saviour. It serves as a crown to the Queen of Peace with its wonderful flowers which also decorate her mantle with which she protects Jesus and his people.
Beneath her MANTLE is a vineyard, to indicate that through her each creature is made fertile.
Nature winds its way throughout the icon till it reaches the lowest point. It is here that the SPRING OF LIFE is situated. All of creation tends towards the spring of life. Here it quenches its thirst, and opens itself up to the New Jerusalem which descends from heaven (cf. Rev 21-22) and gives glory to God.
Many people worked to complete this icon: men and women inspired by God.
However, we deem it opportune to emphasize that it is, above all, the work of God! The author himself is the first to admit this. Inspired by the Holy Spirit (it was the 4th February 1998) he had an inner vision of how the icon should be without even knowing about the program which governs the house. Using the elements of nature, the designer thus expressed the call and the faith pilgrimage which believers experience within their souls.
While the icon is protected it is also open. The artist, besides seeing an image of the icon2 also saw various roads from Roman times which passed by here, and new one s which led to this place and left off again to 'infinite spaces' - or in other words, towards a new reality in the process of being born.
“Garden of Divine Life”
Mary is immaculate on account of her union with the sacrifice of the Lamb. Her entire being is at the service of God; she receives promptings from the Holy Spirit and puts them into practice. In away which is mysterious for human logic, her soul accepts all God's graces at the moment of her conception.
In her womb she conceives the God-Man by the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:26-38), and under His guidance she fully participates in the salvific action of the Crucified Redeemer, Jesus Christ, by uniting herself to His sacrifice on the
cross. This enables her to enter into the new kind of motherhood (ef.Salvifici Doloris, 26). By virtue of all this, Mary is Mother of the Church, Mother of the mystical Body of Christ and of each of God's children. Mary-Mother is the new Eve and the new humanity.
Her chaste womb, her Immaculate Heart, her soul and her entire being embrace the divine life. In her, divine maternity is expressed most perfectly. God generates us through her. Mary is the garden of the divine life. She is the ideal for every believer. She is the ideal for Christ's Church.
We previously mentioned the presence of Mary's hand in the Icon. Well, as the Bride of the Holy Spirit, Mary leads us - according to the promptings of the Holy Spirit - with the loving I care that only an Immaculate Mother could have.
We are invited to walk past Our Lady's face which contemplates the Child Jesus; to walk past physically, but also spiritually. In the Holy Spirit, her soul contemplates Jesus' soul, penetrating the mysteries of life and of salvation, and immersing ever deeper into the life of our Trinitarian God. Our desire, too, is to enter into this mystery.
So let us follow Mary...