Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I'm with Chaput - Let's Punch the Devil in the Nose

The Blessed Virgin Mary punching the devil (13th century MS, British Library).
Via Gregory Wolfe and Catholic News Agency
I featured this artwork about a month ago. Today I got a complaint that it is not treating Mary reverently enough ... and also that it might be pop art.

For me this shows Mary as a powerful spiritual warrior, especially when I look at the expression on both faces. I'd like to think I could be like that.

I'll be fair. Mary could also be holding a seal of some sort with which she is marking the devil.

Looking around for a proper reference to prove it wasn't pop art I wound up at the Catholic News Agency. The bonus was this wonderful talk by Archbishop Chaput which used it as a springboard to exhort us to be like Mary.
“If we want to reclaim who we are as a Church, if we want to renew the Catholic imagination, we need to begin, in ourselves and in our local parishes, by unplugging our hearts from the assumptions of a culture that still seems familiar but is no longer really ‘ours,’” Archbishop Chaput said.

“This is why Mary – the young Jewish virgin, the loving mother, and the woman who punches the devil in the nose – was, is, and always will be the great defender of the Church,” he added.

Archbishop Chaput addressed the 2016 Bishops’ Symposium at the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday. He spoke on “Remembering Who We Are and the Story We Belong To.”

He began his talk referencing an illustration, reportedly from the Middle Ages, of the Blessed Virgin Mary punching the devil in the nose. “She doesn’t rebuke him. She doesn’t enter into a dialogue with him. She punches the devil in the nose,” he said.
I love that guy. Read the whole thing. It's good medicine.


  1. Thank you for showing this. It is absolutely great.

  2. LOL, I would never envision our Blessed Mother punching anyone or anything.

  3. Deo gratias. Let us stop being wimps

  4. As always, we can learn a lot from Mother Mary

  5. My defense of Our Lady is posted at Crisis Magazine. The undeclared 'author' and exact location (? British Museum) make this image suspect. Mary is 'full of grace' (Luke Two). As such Her hands hold the graces to help souls find Her virtues and Her Son, and to get to Heaven. To 'be like Mary', is to be totally consecrated to Her and find one of Her worthy saints, like Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, and perform the 33 day consecration to Her Son. Mary's 'hand to hand' combat is generally performed through Her saints and angels, like Saint Michael, as She is above these direct disputes. "August Queen of Heaven, Sovereign Mistress of the angels, Who has been given the mission and the power to CRUSH THE HEAD of satan (Genesis 3:15), send Thy holy angels, that under Thy command and by Thy power, they may pursue the evils spirits, encounter them on every side, resist their bold attempts and drive them hence into the abyss of woe. O Most Holy Mother, Thou shalt ever be our Love, our Light our Hope and our guide. Holy Mother and Holy Guardian angels, watch over us and protect us.'

  6. Genesis 3:15 further relates that the evil one will lay in wait for Her heel (She and Her seed, the Christ), as Our Lady is far above this rendition and conquers in battle with the devil BENEATH Her, not anywhere near, or in Her face..

  7. Saint John Bosco and Luis Comollo were friends as boys in school. Luis had a saintly uncle, a priest. Luis was able to deflect the bulllying of other students and this impressed John. John who had never been able to overcome his temper, one day, wanted to use his strength to fight back and send a swing. Luis told John, he could do more through kindness than using his physical strength. Luis told John 'the Lady told me this in a dream', as a young boy. (Citation paraphrase from book, Saint John Bosco by Catherine Beebe, Ignatius Press, 1955, pages 77 and 78, you can find it on line, google) This is yet another example of how Our Lady conquers satan, completely differently, than the above pop-pseudo-schema..

  8. Thank you for posting this. I love it! There is nothing demeaning to Mary in this painting. The artist understood that Mary aids in the fight of Satan. It is symbolic of her strength and fight against evil.