The Black Madonnas of Italy
A Visual Presentation of the Dark Face of the Sacred Feminine
by Mary Beth Moser
Did you know that there are well over a hundred highly revered and miraculous images of the Virgin Mary in Italy that portray her with dark skin?
Some are famous, like the Madonna of Loreto shown here, whose image has been reproduced throughout the world. Others are barely known outside of their region. Yet their awesome power is no less.
In her presentations, Mary Beth Moser draws from her graduate thesis and ongoing research in which she explores the power and the mystery of the Black Madonnas found throughout Italy. During extensive field trips she has researched, photographed, and documented the enormous devotion to Italian Black Madonnas. From cities, to caves and mountaintops, Mary Beth has sought out shrines, churches, and sanctuaries that honor the Madonna’s venerated presence. Mary Beth’s presentations include a wealth of Black Madonna images rarely seen outside of Italy.
Mary Beth’s engaging narrative weaves together the facts and legends surrounding the Madonnas’ devotions and miracles, with stories of personal experiences, all of which reveal an ancient and living tradition and testify to the Black Madonna’s power to transform lives. While her presentations are focused on Italy, the insights she provides apply to other Black Madonnas found throughout Europe and the world. The specific information presented provides participants with the knowledge to recognize Black Madonnas; an awareness of the dark face of the sacred feminine as a powerful living symbol; and inspiration to discover and experience Black Madonnas in their travels.
“Your presentation was wonderful: organized, scholarly, AND deeply personal. The students were very inspired by you – as we all are.”
Dianne Jenett, Co-director (retired), Women’s Spirituality Master’s Program, Sofia University, Palo Alto, California
“Your enthusiasm for the subject and your treasure trove of imagery enchanted our viewers. This was one of the most popular events of our programming year!”
Victoria Scarlett, Director, Center for Sacred Art, Seattle, Washington
For more information contact us:
P.O. Box 1953
Vashon Island, WA 98070