Our Lady Of The Fields
Country : France
The title of Our Lady of the Fields and the devotion to Mary as such, takes us back to the earliest days of Catholic life in France.
We owe a great deal of our traditional devotion to Mary to St. Denys, the first Bishop of Paris. The story is told that he drove the demons from a temple of Ceres, the pagan goddess of agriculture, and placed therein a Madonna modeled after St. Luke’s famous painting. The Temple was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin whom Parisians have honored for centuries under the title of Our Lady of the Fields.
If the Blessed Virgin were a goddess she would be a very human goddess—simple and approachable, forgetful of her privileges and of her beauty. Her constant humility adds to her charm. St. Denys knew this well. He found her so gloriously beautiful that he gave to her the place in the temple—and in the hearts of the people—formerly held by the pagan goddess.
“I am the Flower of the Fields”, the Holy Ghost has the Blessed Virgin say. A flower of the fields has a simple beauty that charms us even more because it blossoms by itself without care or cultivation. Our Savior Himself marveled at such a flower and of it He spoke these words of praise that have been repeated through the centuries: “See how the lilies of the field grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these”.
But lilies soon fade and roses are hardly open before they begin to shed their petals before the wind.
The beauty of Mary is less perishable; it remains ever fresh and unchanged in the valley of our exile.