Our Lady of Sorrows

Outdoor shrine in Taufers, South Tyrol, Italy

The shrine features seven swords rather than one to mark the seven "sorrows" the Virgin Mary suffered. This is a common feature of Sorrowful Mother images, and often the seven swords are grouped as here into a group of three (probably representing Simeon's prediction, the flight into Egypt, and the boy Jesus in the Temple) and a group of four representing stages in the Passion. As is often the case in this iconographic type, the figure gazes up as if at her son on the Cross.

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Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.