I met Sue Monk Kidd today!

by Mary Wallace on September 19, 2009

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Sue was with her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor, signing their new book, Traveling with Pomegranates.  I can’t wait to read it…

Sue wrote the iconic book, Secret Life of Bees, with a Black Madonna.  Her book, Dance of the Dissident Daughters changed my life.  51aMRfSGheL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_

I read When the Heart Waits during my divorce, it saved me from so much sorrow and loneliness…

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Switzerland – The Second Dark Madonna

by Mary Wallace on March 29, 2009

On my first trip to Europe, after spotting the Beaune Madonna, we went to my mother-in-law’s family’s hometown of Einsiedeln, Switzerland.

You can see that she is BLACK!  Dark skinned!  She is not white and smoke colored.  So it became a strange challenge to me, WHO IS SHE?  I had had many magical spiritual moments in prayer, moments that felt cosmic, but I’d never ever felt the presence of the sacred feminine until I saw these black mothers.

The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln. Photo © Shrine of Einsiedeln.

The Black Madonna of Einsiedeln. Photo © Shrine of Einsiedeln.

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I Found Her in Beaune, France: My First Dark Madonna

by Mary Wallace on March 23, 2009

In the mid 1990’s, I found her in Beaune, France.

taken by Mary Wallace in Beaune, France

taken by Mary Wallace in Beaune, France

I planned a trip to France after my second son was born.  We arranged to have my mother and my sister stay with my boys and my husband and I spent a week in France and Switzerland.  We wandered around by train and walked into a random church in Beaune and I was stunned into silence.  She was beautiful and I’d never seen a dark skinned Mary before in all my years of a sweet Catholic childhood, so I knelt down and opened my heart to prayer.  I asked a priest how she became black, using my high school French, and he told me that smoke from candles had made her this way.  I didn’t know then what I know now, that this answer is silly if not impossible.  I flew home and started to read about dark skinned Mary statues.  This Beaune Madonna was cleaned and painted a few times in her history, I think.  You can see lightness around the creases on her face.  Yet she is dark skinned and was meant to be dark skinned and was always dark skinned, as she was when I found her.  I found several interesting books but no one single source existed yet.

I found one book that listed the Mary I found in Beaune: The Cult of the Black Virgin, by Ean Begg.

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