Why Mary Is the Seat of Wisdom

Today, June 8, is the feast day of Mary, Seat of Wisdom. She was known by this title since the 11th century. In the Litany of Loreto we invoke Our Lady by this name. Images of Mary, Seat of Wisdom, depict her holding Jesus on her lap and sometimes she is seated on a throne. Jesus is known as wisdom, and Paul calls him this in 1 Cor. 1:24… “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Therefore when Jesus is held by Mary, her lap becomes his seat. She is the seat, or throne, of wisdom.

On another level, Mary is the seat of wisdom, meaning the gift of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom resides in her. She was wise to agree to God’s plan of salvation. She was wise to ponder God’s working in her life like the words of the shepherds (Luke2:19). She was wise to prompt Jesus to change water into wine. After the Holy Spirit descended on her at Pentecost, she became wiser still. I imagine the first disciples often consulted her and learned from her, especially John.

By Marko Rupnik, S.J.

In 2002 Saint Pope John Paul II commissioned Slovenian (Yay!) artist Marko Rupnik, S.J., to make a mosaic of Mary, Seat of Wisdom (Sedes Sapientiae) to be given to university students worldwide. It was intended to encourage them to maintain Christianity at these places of higher learning. (You can learn more about this renowned creator of mosaics on the Internet and youTube.)

My yearly reflection book Heart to Heart with Mary continues to amaze me. How many times people have told me how a reading for the day was particularly apt for them. Following is the selection from this book for June 8. It may speak to you.

A Wise Teacher

Mary, Seat of Wisdom

 June 8

My child, in case the title of mine Seat of Wisdom puzzles you, let me explain. I was the site where the Son of God, who is wisdom and truth, grew for nine months. Later, my lap was literally his seat as I fed him, taught him to speak, and put on his little sandals. Another meaning of this title is that I am a wise virgin. I am wise in the ways of the Lord. I know about God, what he does, and what pleases him.

You prize your education through which you plumb the secrets of the secular world. I invite you to sit at my feet and learn from me a far more important and life-giving knowledge. Just as I taught Jesus, I will teach you how to be the best human being you can be. Study my life and my virtues. Let me steer you away from false teachers whose instruction would lead you astray and ultimately harm you. When you take me as your teacher, you too will become wise. You will see things as God sees them.

™  Talk to Mary about what you would like her to teach you.

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