In which Black Madonnas lead me to Divinity School

Cloaked in bejeweled robes and adorned with crowns of gold, Black Madonnas inspire awe, devotion, and miracles, attracting pilgrims from around the world to Basilicas, Cathedrals, and tiny chapels.

Black Madonna of
Altotting, Germany

In 2018, I too found myself wandering through Europe, visiting sites of Black Madonnas. My curiosity took me to Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Scotland, and England before I broke my foot and returned home. Although an unfortunate ending to my 3-month sabbatical from my nonprofit work, I was delighted to find a Black Madonna at the retreat center where I chose to recuperate.

Despite leaving the Catholic Church in college, my interest in symbols of the Divine Feminine grew. I surprised myself when images of Black Madonnas and Mary Magdalene consistently appeared on my yearly vision boards, inspiring my sabbatical in Europe. After returning to work, I knew my interest had just scratched the surface, and I left my 30+ year career in nonprofit leadership in 2019 to pursue my deep interest in the Divine Feminine. 

Two years later, I am pursuing a Masters of Theological Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee, during a pandemic. 

I know this post is more of a tease. There will be much more about Black Madonnas in the coming months. Stay tuned. For now I am catching up with posting my favorite assignments from my first semester.

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