The 2021 edition of the Vatican Apostolic Library Planner is dedicated to the woman and the book. The beautiful and many images come from the precious archives of the Vatican Library. Pocket diary cm 12x17 (4,7x6,7 in)
Introduction of H. Em. Card. José Tolentino De Mendonça Librarian of Holy Roman Church: " The woman and book. The woman as a builder and custodian of libraries throughout time. The presence of women in the literary and iconographic treasures of the Vatican Apostolic Library. To address these topics, one must perhaps go back to St. Ambrose’s commentary on the scene of the Annunciation. He claims that in Mary’s conversation with the archangel, it turned out to be useful for her to have read the prophet Isaiah beforehand, particularly the passage that states that a virgin would give birth to a son (Is 7:14). “Legerat hoc Maria” affirms the authoritative voice of Ambrose. He thereby offered the Western artistic imagination what would later become one of the most curious and constant elements in the representation of the mystery of the Incarnation: the presence of a book in the hands of the Mother of Christ. The first depiction of Maria cum Libro dates back to the 9th century, a medieval innovation that the Renaissance would receive and extend and leave a strong legacy to modernity: the literate Virgin Mary. She who treats texts with intimate familiarity and who is portrayed not with the tools of the domestic life of the peasant village of Nazareth, but with what will become an instrument of the fruitfulness that Christianity bestows on time: the library. In his refined study (What did the Virgin Mary read? Almost a novel in images 2019), Michele Feo surprisingly identifies over forty different texts in which Mary appears immersed in reading. Thus, it is not so important to know which book Mary was reading in Annunciation's pivotal scene. What remains important is to grasp how the book, in this episode, begins to facilitate a spiritual experience: an experience of listening and knowledge that reconfigures the world. Starting with the inner world of each male reader, of each female reader. It is not possible to write the history of the Library of the Popes without shedding light on women's contribution: women writers, women artists, women theologians, women protagonists of the life of the Church, women patrons, women creators, women of science and culture. And this continues to be the case today. Suffice it to say that well over half of the community of workers who enable the Vatican Apostolic Library to function comprises women. "
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