“Mother: the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind.” — Kahil Gibran
A relaxed new mother of a grand total of seven children: even by modern standards, the subject of this illumination strikes as incredible at best... In the Middle-Ages, when mortality for both delivering mothers and newborns was historically incredibly high, this woman would have probably been regarded as one of the luckiest women alive!
Today, the second Sunday in May is celebrated as Mother's Day in many countries of the world, including all of North America, most European countries, and large parts of both Asia and Oceania. But why the second Sunday in May? Well, Mother's Day as we know it today was established by an American woman, Anna Jarvis, when she held a memorial for her own mother in 1908. The celebration caught the attention of many and several people followed her example: by 1912, Jarvis had trademarked both the holiday and its date itself - and its popularity was steadily growing. Mother's Day thus began to spread across the world, also thanks to the extent to which it was felt by American soldiers fighting in Europe during World War I.
Folia Magazine wishes all mothers (and all maternal figures in any shape or form!) a happy Mother's Day!
"Mother in bed", illumination from the "Talbot Shrewsbury book", ms. Royal 15 E VI, f. 273r, 1444-1445, British Library, London.