the pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica

There are two people in this statue, Mary and Jesus.  Turning to Mary first, she is portrayed as young and beautiful, as she is without sin.  And, looking at her left hand, one may notice that it is open in the act of letting Jesus, her son, go.  Why is Mary letting her son go?  This is her second fiat.  When Gabriel the Archangel announced to her the coming of her son, Mary proclaimed her first fiat, allowing the Son into her life.  Now, as it is shown in the Pieta, Mary gives her silent fiat in letting him go.  He needs to go as it is the will of God.

Where is Jesus going?  Jesus is falling from the lap of Mary onto an altar, which cannot be seen in the picture above.  The Pieta is currently situated in a side chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica, and beneath the statue is an altar where it is possible to have Mass.  Thus, when Mass is being said, Jesus falls into the hands of the priest, becoming the Eucharist for communion.  Mary lets her son go so that we may be fed.

Resource: Our first Virtual Pilgrimage to St. Peter’s Basilica