The Virgin of Tenderness

One of my favorite icons of Mary is the Virgin of Tenderness, also known as the Vladimir Mother of God.

There is a stunning icon of the Virgin in the church of St. Thomas Aquinas in Ames, Iowa, written by Yaroslava Sumach Mills.

The iconographer worked with the parish to write an icon that fits so well into the church – for example, the color of Mary’s mantle matches the color of the rosewood of the altar.

Yaroslava came to Ames and spoke about her work and even provided the parish with a series of photos of the icon being written. She also left a line drawing of the Vladimir icon.

I brought a copy of that line drawing to Honduras and have passed it on to the catechists in the parish of Dulce Nombre so that the children can color the icon or make copies.

Wednesday, I went to the village of Pasquingual to lead a Celebration of the Word with Communion for the father of one of the Delegates of the Word there. On the wall of the church there were several drawings, including this one of the Vladimir Mother of God, by Nicol, one of the children there.


I was overwhelmed. Nicol captured the life and spirit of the icon.

You  can compare this with the line drawing she had


or with this detail of the original


We may have a young iconographer in our midst.

And so we pray,

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us and for all the world.


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