Pieta is an Italian word meaning “pity,” “compassion,” “sorrow,” it is derived from the Latin pietas. It is the name traditionally given to works of art representing the dead body of Christ in the arms of his mother.
Pope Benedict on the Pieta concept : “The languages into which the Gospel entered when it came to the pagan world did not have such modes of expression. But the image of the pieta, the Mother grieving for her son, became the vivid translation of this word.: In her, God’s maternal affliction is open to view. In her we can behold it and touch it. She is the compasio of God, displayed in a human being who has let herself be drawn wholly into God’s mystery”.-Mary, 1997, page 78.
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The Madonna and Child
Drawings of the Life of Christ: