Image Search: Found!

Deacon Kandra posted a picture of a mysterious bust he’d seen at a parish.

Look! Here it is! “The Veiled Bride” by Raffaele Monti, 1861. It’s ceramic and many copies were sold.

The parish  may well have bought it (or had it donated by a parishioner) to use as a bust of St. Cecilia, since her uncorrupt body was exhumed and she was found to have a cover over her face (a burial cover, not a veil – Roman veils were for married women and brides, not maidens). Here’s the very famous statue at her tomb in St. Cecilia in Trastevere, which depicts the body exactly as it was found. (Here’s another version in Albi, France, at the Cathedral of St. Caecilia, which is painted to show color and has rearranged her head to show her face. I don’t know about the authenticity of this one, but the colors are plausible to Roman fashion.)

A floral wreath is also one of St. Cecilia’s attributes. (And a bust would be a nice tidy size for putting out in an organ loft or music room.)

But using it as a bust of Our Lady is okay, too. Our Lady was a bride and would have worn a veil at her wedding to St. Joseph.

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