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The metric inscription of the central medallion is noteworthy for the elegance and precision of the theological formulae employed to express the maternity of the Virgin Mary and the universal kingship of Christ, her son. It was addressed to the faithful who entered the church to remind them of the spiritual purity necessary for proper veneration of the church’s icon of the Virgin Mother. The actual icon, made of fresco or mosaic, probably covered the interior of the apsidal wall.
The inscription reads: “If you want to look at Mary, virginal Mother of God, and to Christ whom she generated, Universal King, only Son of the only God, purify [your] mind, flesh and works! May you purify with [your] prayer the people of God.”
(From: Michele Piccirillo, page 65)
© Photo: Haupt & Binder
Eastern section: Exhibition of mosaics, Hippolytus Hall, Virgin Mary Church, Crypt of St. Elianus, Roman Street, the Madaba Institute for Mosaic Art and Restoration.
By Michele Piccirillo
A large format, cloth-bound volume with 383 pages, 874 illustrations, including aerial views of many of the sites and plans of most of the structures which have mosaics.
American Center of Oriental Research, Amman, Jordan. First edition in 1993.
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