To be clear, in the early 1950’s Mary did appear in Amsterdam under the title ‘Mother of All Nations’ to a woman named Ida Peerdeman. (The apparitions which occurred were given the approval of the bishop there. Cardinal Ratzinger, eventually Pope Benedict XVI, declared that what Mary taught through Ida should be declared dogma one day.)** It is fitting to think of Mary in this way because her role has always been motherly: first as the mother of Jesus, then as mother of the Church. So it seems natural to think of her as mother of those beyond the Church, too. Is it not appropriate to reach out to those who are outside the family in order to invite them in? This inviting in is called ‘evangelization.’ Mary has always led people to her Son. Therefore she is desirous of holding the entire world securely in her arms. She intercedes, but she also comes from time to time to help, guide, and remind us of all that Jesus has taught.
©Michele L. Catanese
* This quote is from a blog called A Moment With Mary. The quote can be found at
** This comes from a page about The Lady of All Nations apparitions. The page is at
The first image is a holy card depicting Mary and Joseph with Jesus securely in their arms. I like this one because the image depicts the Holy Family as symbolically being securely in God's arms, with the Holy Spirit descending upon them. This image captures most of the main points of my entry. I do not know who the artist is.
Next is an icon of The Holy Family at Work. It was found in a blog on iconography which I follow. The icon is Russian, painted by V.O. Mumrikov. It is rare, almost unheard of, for an icon to be signed, but this one was. The site is https://russianicons.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/workers-of-the-world-adjust-the-physical-labor-of-the-holy-family-icon/
The next three icons are the work of Fr. William Hart McNichols, mentioned in the blog entry. The first is called San Jose Sombra del Padre and shows Jesus securely in the arms of Joseph, who also seems securely held in the cloak of God the Father. It is a stunning, yet tender icon, and one of my favorites. It can be found at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/san-jose-sombra-del-padre-161-william-hart-mcnichols.html
The second icon is Murom Icon of the Mother of God. I chose it because Jesus is securely in Mary's arms, but His hand is raised in a blessing, as if He is saying thank you to her. But He is also blessing her lips so that she can impart His message as she directs all people to Him. It can be found at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/murom-icon-of-the-mother-of-god-230-william-hart-mcnichols.html
The third of Fr. Bill's icons is my all-time favorite, as mentioned above. It is called Mary Most Holy Mother of All Nations. The first time I saw this magnificent work I audibly gasped and my eyes filled with tears at the beauty contained within the icon. I saw it during a slide show, so she was larger than life in every way. I am still moved with awe every time I see her, which I do daily, since a copy hangs in my prayer room. You can find this icon at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/mary-most-holy-mother-of-all-nations-080-william-hart-mcnichols.html. I know I repeat this often, but indeed it bears repeating: go to Fr. Bill's website http://frbillmcnichols-sacredimages.com/ and peruse the many beautiful and sometimes challenging images and icons which he has painted. You can purchase any of the works as a card, plaque, paper giclee (copy) to be framed, as a canvas copy, and many other mediums. I get nothing from the endorsement except to share the wealth of beauty that Fr. Bill sees in his heart and puts on the Masonite of the originals. So feast your eyes upon the work, and get something for yourself to pray with!
Finally, the last image is a photo I took last week in Rockport, TX. If you look closely you will see that the mother duck had many, many chicks in her care. They seemed secure in her presence, but there is comic relief from the one on the right who is standing tall, stretching to make sure he has the attention of the mama. I guess from time to time we all need a little extra attention.