Catholics in Pakistan
Beliefs And Teachings

Why Mother Mary is depicted in a blue cloak?

Suzanna Joseph

It is often asked why Mother Mary is depicted in a blue cloak or girdle whereas pilgrims use any color for drapery. Is there a special reason why she is often depicted in blue? The study of holy bible reflects that the color blue holds significant importance.

Citing Numbers: The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. (15: 37-39)

For the Israelis the color blue connotes a reminder and complete obedience to God’s law. Even today the color of Israel’s flag is blue.

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Since Mother Mary was completely devoted to God’s law throughout her life. Even at the time when the angel Gabriel revealed God’s will for her life she completely adhered to it saying “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you said.” And the angel left her. (Luke 1:38) “They shall put a fine leather cover over it, spread a blue cloth on top, and then insert the carrying poles.” (Numbers 4:6)

“They shall spread a blue cloth over the table for the bread to be offered to the LORD and put on it the dishes, the incense bowls, the offering bowls, and the jars for the wine offering. There shall always be bread on the table.”(Numbers 4:7)

“They shall take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand, with its lamps, tongs, trays, and all the olive oil containers.” (Numbers 4:9)

“Next they shall spread a blue cloth over the gold altar, put a fine leather cover over it, and then insert the carrying poles.” (Numbers 4:11)

Traditionally Mother Mary holds the title ‘The Ark of the New Covenant’ because her womb held the incarnate God. Since the color blue reflects the sky compared to red which symbolizes the earth and blood.

Jesus cloak is often depicted in a cloak with a red exterior and blue insides. Red symbolizes his humanity and blue represents his divinity. Meaning Christ’s divinity encapsulates his humanity. In contrast Mother Mary’s cloak is a complete reverse. Deeply rooted in catholic symbolism the blue on the outside of her cloak has been interpreted as her humanity wrapped in her divinity that is red on the inside.
“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and God’s power will rest upon you. For this reason the holy child will be called the Son of God.”(Luke 1:35).

Since every color holds symbolic value pilgrims should be careful while paying homage to Mother Mary.

(This article was first published in

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