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Catholic Dictionary

Term

CATACOMBS, OUR LADY OF THE

Definition

Shrine in the cemetery of St. Priscilla in Rome. Beneath the basilica of St. Sylvester and above the cemetery is a fresco painting of the Blessed Virgin holding the Child Jesus on her knee. It is considered one of the first images of the Madonna, dating from about A.D. 170. Though the colors have faded and the features are blurred, it is a witness to the Church's ancient devotion to Mary. The figure standing at her left is most likely the prophet Isaiah, who foretold the Virginal conception of the Messiah.