Miraculous image

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The Kevelaerer image of grace

As miraculous image (rare grace portrait in plastic representations also grace statue or grace figure ) is called a painted or plastic representation of a saint , before the faithful granting grace of God solicit. Above all, such images of grace are depictions of Mary (see also Portrait of Mary ), more rarely of the baby Jesus .

Some images of grace are associated with healings or other events that are viewed as wonderful, so they are often the destination of pilgrimages . In such cases a chapel was usually built for the miraculous image. Figurative representations of Our Lady and the Baby Jesus often wear gold-plated crowns made of silver and costly clothes .

The history of individual images of grace is often associated with legendary tales of their discovery, damage, robbery or abuse. For the history of images of grace in general, it can be said that they have increased in importance since the late Middle Ages, when individual images in the sense of the Devotio moderna played an increasing role. Excesses in late medieval Germany, when economic considerations, i.e. the exploitation of the veneration of Mary and saints , were in the foreground for certain regions , aroused criticism from Martin Luther and Johannes Calvin, among others, and were a factor that triggered the Reformation .

Famous images of grace

Famous images of grace are z. B. in the Gnadenkapelle zu Altötting , Kevelaer and Werl (all in Germany ) and in the chapel of the Pauline monastery Jasna Góra in Czestochowa in ( Poland ).

See also


  • Keyword Gnadenbilder , In: Lexikon der Kunst, Vol. 2, Berlin 1981, pp. 93–95

Web links

Wiktionary: Gnadenbild  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations