In today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer, there is an article about the Vatican approving breastfeeding photos or images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. In a predominantly Catholic country, having the Vatican’s support breastfeeding is a major step towards establishing breastfeeding as an infant-feeding norm. In 2008, it was reported that the Vatican wanted more ““artistic and spiritual rehabilitation” of ‘loving and tender images’ of Mary breast-feeding.”
In the Philippines, the group of Dr. Elvira Esguerra and Ms. Nona Andaya-Castillo has “commissioned the creation of a sculpture showing a full-breasted Virgin Mary in the act of feeding the Baby Jesus. The sculpture is expected to be completed next year and will show a ‘humanized’ Mary looking lovingly at the Baby Jesus as she feeds him, in the proper, ‘full latch’ breastfeeding position.”
Interestingly, as early as 2000, there has been a group of Marian devotees who organized the Our Lady of La Leche Movement in the Philippines. I’m not quite sure where the image is housed and there doesn’t seem to be any updates to their website. Still, it is heartening to read about the increasing acceptance of breastfeeding in the Philippines and to know about the support that various sectors have accorded it. Thanks to Claire for the article heads-up!