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Mater Admirabilis
University Emblem
back History Educational Principles Mater Admirabilis University Emblem President's Message Transportation The University Library Sacred Heart Schools The Society of the Sacred Heart Around The World Institute for Research on Christian Culture The Research Institute for The Catholic Education of Women Seishin Tanzawa Gakusha

   The original fresco of Mary, known as Mater Admirabilis, or Mother Most Admirable, is on a wall of the Sacred Heart School, Trinitá dei Monti, at the top of Rome's famous Spanish steps. It was painted in the middle of the 19th Century by a young French artist, Sister Pauline Perdreau. Mater was much-loved for its beautiful color, but especially because this image of Mary as a young woman symbolized the qualities St. Madeleine Sophie wanted Sacred Heart students to acquire.

   From the first school started in Amiens, France, in 1801, Sacred Heart schools have spread all over the world. And wherever in the world you enter a Sacred Heart school, you will find a reproduction of this artwork illustrating the foundress's idea of education.

   The background shows early morning, symbolizing hope for the future. A young Mary is resting from her work, perhaps praying. In the basket at her side is an open book, representing her interest in her studies. The spindle illustrates the importance of serious work. In other words, a basic attitude toward life must include prayer, thought, and labor.

   The lily beside her expresses the virtue of purity. Just like Mary, who, trusting in God, nurtured life and treasured it, the picture known as Mater is a symbol of the dignity and mission of all who strive to respond to the love of God and of others.

   The two hearts in the center symbolize the Sacred Heart of Jesus (left) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (right). The Sacred Heart of Jesus is encircled with the crown of thorns, indicative of His sufferingin order to Save mankind, and constantly reminds us of His love for God and man. The Heart pierced with a sword stands for the Immaculate Heart of Mary who devoted herself in aiding the work of Christ as Saviour of mankind.

   The lilies surrounding the two hearts symbolize purity.

   UBI CARITAS, IBI DEUS (Where there is love, there God is) is the University motto.

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