The Woman Clothed with the Sun

Today’s reading comes from Revelation 15:1-4 it is short and there isn’t to much to say on the matter but I thought this would be a good opportunity to examine Revelation 12 and the vision of the Woman clothed with the sun and moon under her feet. A question for us to ponder, is the women clothed with the Sun; Mary, Israel or the Church? I will try and show you that the answer is YES. First most Catholics will immediately associate Revelation 12 with Mary. The Church’s deep devotion to Mary and sacred art point to this fact.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, while not an exact depiction of Revelation 12 has two elements from it, clothed with the sun (light in this instance) and the moon under her feet, she is also with , child as suggested by the bow around her waist and if you look closely her abdomen is slightly swollen as would be for a woman with child. 

It would be a mistake however to stop at associating her with Mary alone, there is far to much to suggest that she also represents other figures in the scripture. Israel is a good candidate for this woman and here is why. Israel is commonly refereed to as a woman in distress. 

As a woman about to give birth
writhes and cries out in pain,
so were we before you, LORD

Isaiah 26:17

Yes, I hear the cry, like that of a woman in labor, like the anguish of a mother bearing her first child.

Jeremiah 4:31

It says the dragon does war with her offspring those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. Israel was understood to be the people who follow the commandments of God, not simply as a location. The second half of this suggests that the Church too is personified by this woman because they would be the ones who bare testimony to Jesus. What furthers the point of them being all three is that Mary is the image of the Church as explained by Vatican II

In the interim just as the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth.

Lumen Gentium 68 (emphasis mine)

The Dragon also represents multiple figures, it represents the devil but it likely also represents in general wicked Kings or rulers on earth.

The only other note I would like to make is that today’s reading acts as a victory song over the dragon and what is soon to come in the book of Revelation. Stay tuned!

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