Marian Portraits

Marian Portraits


Bringing to Life Sacred Images of Devotion

In establishing the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, the Church recognizes the Mother of God in her fullest and most radiant glory -- honored upon this Earth as she is in Heaven: "Mary, Queen of the Universe."  It is a title that calls us to reflect upon the universality of Mary's great love for all peoples, and then illuminate the myriad of ways in which cultures worldwide have continued over centuries to express their own great love for God's holy Mother.

Accordingly, the Basilica at the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe -- this holy ground that each year welcomes countless thousands of pilgrim faithful, religious and other travelers in search of Christ, and even vacationing families from across the United States and throughout the world -- is so uniquely well-positioned to breathe life into the Marian image, while celebrating the many faces of Mary as she appears to the faithful in distant villages and great cities alike.

Portraits of Mary

Today, in furthering our shared reverence for the Mother of God and in working to make present a world of culturally-defined images and devotions to Our Lady, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe introduces a project of immense scope and ambition.  The project, "Portaits of Mary," calls for artists to design, sculpt and then cast in bronze upwards of sixty strikingly distinctive plaques, each celebrating one of the world's most beloved Marian devotions.  

For the people of Brazil will come "Our Lady of Peace." Giving a new voice to Poland's faithful will be "Our Lady of Czestochowa." Visitors from Ireland will find here a special welcome in the Shrine's bronze "Our Lady of Knock." So, too, the Shrine will provide a home for Marian devotions whose roots are in Western Europe; Asian cultures, from Japan to Korea and Vietnam; Mexico, Cuba and the Central Americas; Egypt and the Middle East; Pacific nations, from Australia to the Philippines. Representative images planned for the Basilica will include such beloved devotions as "Our Lady of Lourdes," "Mary, Help of Christians," "Divine Providence," "Our Lady of Charity," "Immaculate Conception," "Our Lady of Perpetual Help," "Star of the Sea," "Our Lady of Sorrows," and many others.

In all, the "Portraits of Mary" series will be composed of 54 bronze plaques, each measuring 17" x 23." To assure the best possible viewing opportunities for generations to come, each plaque will grace the interior facade at one of the Shine's three magnificent entrance portals: "The Portal of Abraham," "The Portal of the Good Shepherd" or "The Portal of Mary."

For Shrine friends, "Portraits of Mary" affords marvelous opportunities to sponsor a beloved devotion -- underwriting a Marian image and bringing its message to life for the faithful of all nations.  Further, by having their family name etched in bronze and mounted with the sponsored plaque at the entry portal, donors will create for themselves a lasting memorial for all the world to see. As each of these distinctive images will be an original, one-of-a-kind work of art, master sculptors Jill Burkee and Giancarlo Biaggi are allowing Marian plaque donors the option to request a second casting to display in their own home.   

To help underwrite "Portraits of Mary" and commemorate one of the larger devotional plaques in your family's name requires a commitment of $18,000. 

Donors may also elect for the artist to provide them the original, signed casting of their memorial plaque at a sculptor's fee of $5,000.

To be associated with the holy mission of this emerging Basilica brings well-deserved recognition. Yet, to be among those relative few who will underwrite "Portraits of Mary" and bring new, stirring images of devotion that benefit the prayerful arriving from every nation is, itself, a gift in God's own name.

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Only one of each Memorial may be purchased at a time.

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