La Vierge de Dom Rupert

This little bas-relief sitting in a museum in Liege has traditionally been known as a wonderworking statue/picture of Mary. The inscription around it says (with abbreviations), “This Gate will be closed, and will not be opened, and no man will pass through it, because the Lord, the God of Israel entered through it.” (Ezek. 14:2) This mysterious verse about the Temple is traditionally believed by Catholics to be a prophecy about the Virgin Birth of Jesus and His mother’s perpetual virginity.

Much more about the statue and in English, at the University of Dayton’s Mary Page.

Dom Rupert of Deutz (c. 1075-1129, aka Rupert of Saint-Laurent, his monastery in Liege) was a monk who was well known as an author in the Middle Ages. He was never made a saint, but his writings and piety were very influential. He believed that his vocation from God was to write scriptural commentaries. He was also the first person to write an all-Mary as the Bride interpretation of Song of Songs (as opposed to the Church as the Bride). But he was mostly interested in writing about Christ and the Eucharist; his commentary on Mark is called The Glory and Honor of the Son of Man.

More info on Rupert of Deutz, from an audience talk by Pope Benedict XVI. Excerpts from Rupert in the monastic Office readings.

Woodcut illustrations from print editions of Rupert of Deutz’ scriptural commentaries. (Man, those Revelation illustrations are busy!)

It was well known that Dom Rupert spoke a lot about this picture of Mary in his monastery’s church. After he left Liege to become Abbot of Deutz in Germany, a lot of other people in town got devoted to it as well. Over the years, it became known for miracles, and was moved out of the monastery to the town’s church, to allow people better access. (Replaced by a near-replica for the monastery that also showed Rupert kneeling before it.)

Now it’s sitting in a local museum on exhibit, and probably most of the visitors have no idea about its history or the love that surrounded it.

1 Comment

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One response to “La Vierge de Dom Rupert

  1. That’s a great article on that icon. I had never heard of Dom Rupert of Deutz. Now, I have another Catholic author’s works to peruse.

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