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Our Lady of Pompeii, Image of

Image of Our Lady of Pompeii

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: What do you know about the image of Our Lady of Pompeii?

A: The miraculous image of Our Lady of Pompeii is a typical rosary painting (later period of this topic). Where Our Lady with the Child on her right leg and arm gives a rosary to Saint Catherine of Siena while the Christ Child with his right hand gives a rosary to Saint Dominic standing on the left side of the painting. The original was bought by Fr. Alberto Radente, OP, for 3.40 lira in a pawnshop in Venice. He gave it to a tertiary in Naples who in turn gave it to Blessed Bartola Longo (1841-1926), a devout layman and founder of the sanctuary of Pompeii. It was in pitiful condition and needed restoration. After completion of the restoration, it was considered of "heavenly beauty." The painter is not known. 

There exist a broad variety of Rosary images; and since Our Lady of Pompeii is a rosary image, some artists may have taken the liberty to modify the original image; More probable is the existence of ex-votas (images in gratitude for received favors) which are notoriously personal and take great liberty with the original theme.

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