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Catholic Art and Jewelry

Our Lady of the Olives by Nicolò Barabino

Our Lady of the Olives by Nicolò Barabino

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"Our Lady of the Olive Tree" (also called "Our Lady of the Olives") by Nicolò Barabino was one of the most famous Catholic paintings of the 19th Century, widely considered to be a masterpiece. She's a little less well known now, as is the devotion to Our Lady under that title. It dates back to 1493 when a church in the French village of Murat was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Miraculously, a wooden statue of Mary survived, evidently made of olive wood.

The devotion to Mary under that title grew in the 1800s, and Pope Leo XIII made the title "Our Lady of Olives" official in an apostolic brief on May 10, 1878, and she was crowned on June 18, 1881. The title is linked to Scripture, especially where Sirach which speaks about Wisdom as a "fair olive tree in the field," which is what the Latin on the front means. (Sirach 24:14)

Nicolò Barabino (1831-1891) was an Italian painter, doing many canvases and much church decoration. He was a famous man in his day-there is large, life-size statue of him in Genoa, Italy-and this painting was far and away his most famous picture.

There is a lovely prayer for Our Lady of the Olives that we would like to pair with this picture for a future holy card. As for the village of Murat, lighting has never fallen in that valley since the fire. Our Lady of the Olive Tree, protect us! (source:

** IMPORTANT ** THE IMAGE IS SMALLER THAN THE PAPER! There is a blank border all around the image of about .5" for 5x7, 1.3" for 8.5x11, 1.6" for 11x14, and 1.75" for 13x17" and 16x20". All Approx! The white space gives the framed picture a finished look without using a matt.

- Acid-free paper
- Archival pigments, rated to last for generations.
- Cardboard backer
- Above story of the art
- Enclosed in a tight-fitting, crystal clear bag.

Thanks for your interest!

Sue & John

You might also enjoy original Catholic Art and Jewelry by me, Sue Kouma Johnson, here on Etsy at
Also, check out our Catholic Quote shop, where we are pairing authentic quotes from Saints with Art:

"In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art." ~ St. Pope John Paul II

Original image is out-of-copyright. Descriptive text and image alterations (hence the whole new image) © by Sue Kouma Johnson - CatholicArtAndJewelry.
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