A Christmas Greeting From the Holy Rover

The Virgin Mary who kept an eye on my son in Belgium (Carl Sessions photo)

The Virgin Mary who kept an eye on my son in Belgium (Carl Sessions photo)

Before our son Carl left for his study-abroad semester in Belgium, I played a trick on him. “Think of me every time you see an image of the Virgin Mary,” I said, to which he blithely agreed. Hah! I knew that given Belgium’s strong Catholic heritage, he was likely to see her all over.

But even I was surprised when I entered Carl’s rooming house on our visit in November and discovered that there was a large stained glass window of the Virgin Mary right above his front door, benevolently beaming at him every time he passed by below.

I take two things from this. One, God has a sense of humor. Two, God wants 21-year-old sons on their First Big Adventure in Europe to think multiple times every day about their mother.

All of this is a preface to a little video Bob and I have put together, a Christmas greeting to faithful readers of this blog. Be grateful that we did not include all the pictures we took of the Virgin Mary and Child on our European trip, as you likely have other things you hope to do today. But here is a selection of some of our favorites. I’ve combined it with a royalty-free clip of some Renaissance music from the Partners In Rhyme Blog. I don’t know the composer or musicians, unfortunately, but I like the mood it conveys. I hope the video might help you reflect on the deeper meanings of this holiday season.

The Holy Rover will be taking a couple of weeks off over the holidays, but I’ll be back in January with more European adventures. Merry Christmas to everyone!

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8 Responses to A Christmas Greeting From the Holy Rover

  1. Mississippi Pilgrim says:

    That is the loveliest, most beautiful Christmas greeting I’ve ever received. Thank you both for profoundly touching me this day.

  2. Anne Tanner says:

    What a wonderful gift, a moment of peace and beauty in the noisy end of the shopping season. Thank you, Holy Rover, for being an oasis for all of us, not only this season but throughout the year.

  3. Crisonhaler says:

    Thank you for the lovely greeting–and the wonderful story about Carl!

  4. Darcy says:

    This is the most beautiful video ever. Mary is so lovely and so varied and Jesus comes in all sizes and shapes. It is a video about mothers, even if Mary holds no deep significance to the viewer. I was almost weeping in the late winter sunlight in the kitchen. Love to all of my fellow readers, but especially to the Holy Rover and her Gang (includes talented photographer and sons, one afoot in Europe and one tucked in in Iowa).

  5. Marian Wingo says:

    That is the most precious, loving & tender response I have ever read, Darcy.

  6. Jim Webster says:

    Very Nice. Hope you and Bob and your lucky son aren’t sufferring too much re-entry shock after Carl’s wonderful semester in Belgium. Meant to answer your last post (Brugge) but got caught up in Christmas travel prep (Hello from Colorful Colorado!)
    Like Bob, Brugge was my first real mainland Europe experience after mussels and beer in Oostend following landing via hydrofoil from Dover in 1990. We LOVED Brugge…one of the most gorgeous cities we’ve ever visited. Time to go back. Merry Christmas to you and Bob!

  7. annechien dik says:

    What could I add to what has been said by the other friends of this site already?
    I also was deeply moved and enjoyed both your story about the promise you asked
    from your son, Lori, which was a matter of foreknowledge, in Stock Exchange an
    unfavorable sign, but in this case a source of joy in advance! God certainly has
    humor AND – as I experience over and over again – there certainly IS the question
    of resonance. The story of the Madonna right above the front door of the place where your son lives, covers both in my opinion….

    Your video is great, the images, the music, the sum total of it all. You both gave
    me a wonderful Christmas present. Although I loved them all as Madonnas in
    their own right, my favourites are the “primitive” ones. Where are they from??
    They are so
    strong and evocative. The face of Mary tells the whole story from cradle to cross….

    I wish you both a very good Christmas time together with the one son who has
    just returned home be it temporarly.

  8. I so enjoyed your lovely video! I, too, have started to collect images of Mary since moving to France. She’s everywhere! Coupled with the music, the images really convey a sense of peace and reverence. Thank you for giving us this gift for Christmas!

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