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  • Fr. Dwight Longenecker


Those quaint medieval paintings I’ve seen of Mary’s crowning don’t do much for me. You know the stuffy, courtly ones I mean— God and Jesus stiffly on their thrones, with the little Holy Spirit bird between The King holds the crown above her head like he’s still deciding if she should be queen.

There’s something glum about them—something dead, as if they’re not really glad to see her. They seem distracted and disinterested, sweating a little in their brocade robes, golden crowns weighing on their royal head. They’re wondering how soon it can be over so they can change and go hunting instead.

What if the blessed lady’s crowning were not like a medieval court at all, but like that Botticelli painting, “Spring”? A second Eve graceful in a garden crowned with flowers—a near naked youth reaching for fruit, a lurking demon and three lithe ladies in sheer dresses, delicately dancing. Such a vernal, fertile scene would be worth ten thousand courtly crownings. You’d have youth, exuberance, trees swaying, the blithe earth clapping her hands, rivers singing, oceans surging and mountains roaring with mirth. You’d have all creation rejoicing— celebrating her innocent new birth. —August 22, 2017

Featured in Issue Two of New Lyre Magazine

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A graduate of Oxford University, he is the Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Greenville, SC, and author of twenty books, including Immortal Combat, The Romance of Religion, The Quest for the Creed, and Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. He contributes to many magazines, papers, and journals, including National Catholic Register, Catholic Digest, and The Stream. His latest book, Beheading Hydra- A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age, is published by Sophia Institute Press. Visit his blog, listen to his podcasts, join his online courses, browse his books, and be in touch at

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