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Religious symbolism and literary ladies of light

Posted by EAH on September 18, 2003

In Reply to: Of light posted by Sasha on September 15, 2003

: : : " She is a sweet lady of light."
: : : What does "of light" mean here?

: : I don't know if there's a connection. But it reminds me of Florence Nightingale, "The lady with the lamp." Of course, Lady Liberty carries a torch too.

: : What is the context? Is this part of a song or poem?

: No, this phrase comes from a novel. But there is no context because it is from a so-called 'dictionary' attached to the novel.

In religious symbolism light is associated with illumination and warmth. A lady of light might be radiant/glow brightly (handy to have when the power fails) or, more often, be filled with goodness,purity and wisdom.

Ladies of Light often appear in literature.
The phrase has been applied to the moon and also the sun, in societies which consider the sun to be feminine. It's been applied to lighthouses as well as moon goddesses and mother goddesses.
Tolkien's Galadriel is called the Lady of Light.
The name was also given to Muhammad's daughter Fátimih because she proclaimed God with great ardor. In Catholic literature there are many references to Our Lady of Light, the Virgin Mary. Her glowing image has periodically been sighted by the faithful. For instance, in the French Pyrenees at Lourdes, February 11th, 1858, Bernadette Soubirous reputedly saw the first of 18 visitations of the Virgin.