In 1844, a generation after the Society of the Sacred Heart was founded, Pauline Perdrau, a young novice, painted a fresco of Mary as she imagined Mary might have been as a student in the temple. Upon seeing the fresco when visiting the convent, Pope Pius IX exclaimed “Mater Admirabilis!” (Latin for Mother, Most Admirable!). The fresco still hangs in the convent at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome, Italy.
At Forest Ridge, as at all Sacred Heart schools, one may find Mater in a variety of forms. Our most loved is the statue that sits in the narthex of our chapel. Whether a painting, a statue, or a fresco, certain details are common. Mary is clothed in pink, a favorite color of Pauline’s. The lily at her side represents her purity; the distaff and spindle, her love of work; a book or scroll, her dedication to study.