Monday, 30th October 2017

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Triangle gesture that gave Merkel success

German chancellor influenced by Virgin Mary

By Father Felix Raj SJ in Freiburg, Germany in Calcutta
  • Published 21.10.19, 6:13 AM
  • Updated 21.10.19, 6:13 AM
  • a min read
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Father Felix Raj at The Cathedral of our Lady in Freiburg, Germany Telegraph picture
Hans Baldung Green’s depiction of the Coronation of the Virgin Mary by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit
Hans Baldung Green’s depiction of the Coronation of the Virgin Mary by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit

I am in Freiburg, a vibrant Catholic city in Southwest Germany’s Black Forest, reconstructed in the medieval period, now with a population of 2,29,000.

The Cathedral of our Lady (known as Münster), built between 1120 AD and 1200, is a true representative of the city and a place of calm and beauty. Its beautiful and colourful windows with ‘graffiti’ and the ringing of the bells provide a sense of the divine presence.

Hans Baldung Green created many beautiful altars in churches in the 16th century Germany, one of them is in the Freiburg Cathedral. The most significant work of Green, created between 1513 and 1516, portrays the Coronation of the Virgin Mary by God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

The picture reflects the main idea of Christianity — the doctrine of the Trinitarian God as three Persons. Mother Mary is seen resting her hands on her stomach, a gesture in which her fingertips meet with the thumbs and index fingers forming a triangle shape (an image of the Trinitarian relationships).

This gesture of Virgin Mary has become a signature gesture of the 8th and current Chancellor of Germany since 2005, Angela Merkel (65). Merkel visited the Freiburg Cathedral on September 18, 2017, and was deeply impressed by the picture of our Lady.

Though a Protestant Christian, Merkel, the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, makes this gesture frequently in her public appearances and meetings since her visit to Freiburg in 2017. The influence of the Virgin Mary is very evident.

Leaders in Germany and at international circles have described the gesture as “Merkel Raute” (Diamond). It is termed as triangular power she possess to win over people.

It is believed that the gesture inspired by the Virgin Mary has made her win the fourth term in 2018 as Chancellor of Germany.

Angela Merkel even after 14 years as Chancellor, is still the most popular politician according to German public. Polls have also highlighted her popularity, a recent poll conducted by the Local News Agency of Germany in August 2019 says 56 per cent of Germans were satisfied with Merkel, who is considered as “eternal Chancellor”.