“A clean and shining beauty of soul”

Mary has “a clean and shining beauty of soul.”

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I can’t write about beauty without, of course, saying something about Mary, the Mother of God, who as John Saward says: “In face and grace, Mary is like Jesus.”

umilen3St. Cyril of Alexandria calls our Lady kallitokos as well as theotokos, “bearer of Him who is true beauty” as well as “bearer of Him who is true God.”

Grace, as the poet [Hopkins] says, is “God’s better beauty,” the splendor of the soul . . . “O pure Theotokos”, sings the Byzantine Church on the feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, “thou hast a clean and shining beauty of soul, and art filled from Heaven with the grace of God” (the Festal Menaion).  Grace conforms the soul into the likeness of Christ.  So it is with Mary.

       (John Saward, The Holiness of Beauty and the Beauty of Holiness, p. 122)

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