An ancient Black Madonna statue in the Benedictine Monastery of Montserrat, Spain is said to have perhaps been brought back from Egypt by the Crusaders many centuries ago. As one soldier named Ignatius lay gravely ill in this monastery, Mary visited him. His followers since have become known as the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus. Our Lady of Montserrat is called The Little Brown One, La Moreneta by the Spaniards who bring their brides to her to be blessed with fertility. Her wisdom and healing power bring to mind the Sophia Wisdom and Sacred Marriage of the soul with God found in the Song of Songs. While this painting doesn’t resemble the Montserrat Madonna, her spirit is certainly here.

Woman of the garden,
You are black and you are beautiful.
The one the lover sings among the lilies.
The one enveloped by night under the stars.
The moon at your feet,
The aurora borealis your mantle.
You are mystery,
Coming from the deep,
returning to eternity.
In the sightless dark,
I awake in your embrace.
You nourish me, guide me.
Enfolding me in your warmth.
You are my mother.