Chapter 23. Our Lady of Signs

If we had to have a patron saint, who might that be? There could be many contenders. As photographers we deal with multi-media: and there is St Clare, who is the patron saint of the television, and all those who use it, if my memory serves me well, because she was able to have a special vision of her sister Agnes some distance away. Nearer to our time we could invoke blessed John Paull II, our recent Pope, who was certainly no stranger to the media, and even produced a CD to reach his sheep. Perhaps more to the mark, there must be some patron saint of photographers specifically – and indeed: St Veronica, whose veil captured the image of our Lord’s Holy Face. But in our case these are still not quite to the mark. Afterall we are not here merely doing photography – taking images of things. Over and above these, we are reflecting on these images, and also the photographic processes as signs, and how these signs point to things that matter, such as ethics, or theological ideas.

Recently I had the chance to watch the movie, Our Lady of Fatima, and there I saw our Lady working signs and wonders, making the sun dance in order to point to the truth of Lord’s wrath and requirement of repentance. In many ways, our Lady shapes events into signs of things that truly matter, or, to borrow Victoria Welby’s term, our Lady was doing significal design – designing signs of what truly matters, sending our thoughts to ethical ideals that we need to re-embody. She was bringing about, in the hearts and minds of the masses that saw these signs on the fields of Fatima, etho-semiosis. Perhaps then, Our Lady of Signs, the Blessed Virgin Mary, is our most fitting patron.

Let us pray.

Our Lady of Signs, who points us to the things that truly matter: pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.