Mary, Seat of Wisdom
Parishioners of St. Mary Parish, Lemmon, gathered on January 1 to dedicate and bless a new statue of Mary, Seat of Wisdom (Sedes Sapientiae). The statue sits in the center of the parish lawn replacing an older statue of Christ the King. According to Father Adam Hofer, the old statue of Christ the King was made of sandstone and showed signs of erosion. “A couple of years ago the Knights of Columbus did a beautiful landscape project on the parish grounds, and there was a desire from the parish to replace the statue of Christ the King with a new statue of Mary, as the patroness of the parish as completion of the landscaping project to highlight the sacredness of the parish and its grounds.”
Parishioners donated funds to purchase the statue, some donating as a memorial for a loved one. The parish Altar Society also contributed.
Father Adam Hofer described the importance of Mary: An important and early title given to Jesus’ mother Mary is Theotokos, a Greek word that means “God bearer” or mother of God. The title of Mary as Mother of God is first and foremost about the identity of Jesus as the Son of God. The early church wanted to affirm that Jesus Christ was not simply a godly man but was God in the flesh.
From the beginning of Christianity, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, has had a special place amongst those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. When God took human flesh through the Virgin Mary, He became our brother. As brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, we turn to Mary as our spiritual mother. Jesus himself passed along this understanding. While Jesus hung on the cross, he gave a powerful instruction to his mother and to the apostle John. He says to his mother “Behold, your son” and to the disciple whom he loved “Behold, your mother” (Jn 19:26-27). Mary always leads us to her son, Jesus, our savior. As brothers and sisters of Jesus, we also look to Mary as our loving mother, in her example as a disciple of Jesus and as one who intercedes on our behalf.
One depiction of Mary that flows from her title as Mother of God is the title Sedes Sapientiae. The original title came from comparing the Virgin Mary to the throne of Solomon. King Solomon was a King of Israel. He had asked God for the gift of wisdom and God gave him wisdom to rule God’s people from the throne. His throne then, so to speak, was a throne of wisdom. In time, God sent his only Son, a descendant of Solomon, born of Mary, Jesus the Christ, the King of the Universe, Wisdom in the flesh. Mary, the Mother of God, holds Jesus in her arms and on her lap and takes on the title of the “Seat of Wisdom.” During the Council of Ephesus in the year 431, Saint John Damascene proclaimed the Divine Motherhood of the Virgin with the words that “her hands hold Eternity and her knees form a throne which is more exalted than the throne held by the cherubim (angels).”