Our Lady of Nazareth

Our Lady of Nazareth

            Maria di Nazaret is an image of Our Lady made by the Italian artist Gregor Mussner. The “Mussner G. Vincenzo” studio is located in Ortisei, the main village of the Val Gardena, nestled in the Dolomite Mountains of northeastern Italy. This small valley is known as “the valley of woodcarvers”, because throughout the last four hundred years local people have earned their living making all kinds of carvings from wood. Religious art is an important category of this work, and it is in this field that the Mussner family has a long tradition. That tradition encompasses four generations of family members who have acquired an enviable reputation for creating and carving exquisite statues, crucifixes, stations of the cross and other items intended for use in churches.

            John Paul II blessed the image in 1998 in Saint Peter’s square, before it embarked on a worldwide Marian Pilgrimage through 35 Countries. The statue represents the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary made haste to help her cousin Elizabeth, going down the stairs of her house. After the 2000 Jubilee, the image is based in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel.