This is the Biblical Reason Why the Blessed Virgin Mary Always Wears Blue


One of the most recognized figures in Christian art is the Blessed Virgin Mary, often depicted wearing a robe of celestial blue. The sight of Mary in blue is so common that it’s easy to assume it has always been this way. Yet, in the broad tapestry of Church history and doctrine, why is Mary so often adorned in this particular hue? Is it just a matter of artistic choice, or is there a deeper, perhaps even Biblical, reason for it?

Let’s dive in and explore why the Blessed Virgin Mary is so often portrayed in blue, rooting our understanding in Biblical text and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Color Blue in Biblical Times

Blue, a color often linked with the sky and the sea, has rich biblical and theological undertones. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed to use blue, along with purple and scarlet yarn, in the curtains of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1). Additionally, the High Priest’s garments included blue (Exodus 28:31).

Yet, blue was more than just a color; it symbolized divine qualities. For the Israelites, the color blue could be seen as a reminder of God’s commandments. In Numbers 15:38-39, God instructed Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them.'”

In essence, blue served as a visual cue to holiness, obedience, and connection to God’s commandments.

Mary: Clothed with Heaven

In the New Testament, Mary is never explicitly described wearing blue. Yet, in the Book of Revelation, often interpreted by the Church Fathers as a vision that includes the Mother of God, we encounter a woman “clothed with the sun” (Revelation 12:1). The sun, moon, and stars, are celestial bodies, and celestial blue could well be implied here. While the text does not specify the color of her clothes, the imagery suggests a woman clothed in divine qualities.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells” (CCC 2676). This notion of Mary as the “ark of the covenant,” a vessel holding divine presence, resonates well with the symbolism of blue as a color of divinity and obedience to God’s commandments.

Why Artists Choose Blue

While not explicitly stated in the Bible, the tradition of depicting Mary in blue has historical reasons tied to both theology and practicality. Blue pigment, particularly the ultramarine blue made from lapis lazuli, was incredibly expensive and rare. Using it for Mary’s garments in artwork symbolized the Church’s reverence and devotion towards her.

It’s worth noting that this is not a matter of Church doctrine but rather a tradition developed over time. However, the choice is not arbitrary; it echoes the rich symbolism of blue we’ve seen earlier.

The Universal Teaching and Theological Opinion

It’s important to differentiate between what is universal teaching and what is theological opinion. The Church does not have an official teaching on why Mary is depicted in blue, so much of this falls under theological opinion and historical development.

However, the universal teaching is that Mary is the Mother of God, the “ark of the covenant,” pure, and full of grace, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms: “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, ‘full of grace’ through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception” (CCC 491).


While the Bible may not specifically tell us that Mary wore blue, the tradition of portraying her in this color resonates deeply with Biblical and theological symbolism. Blue stands as a reminder of obedience, divinity, and the high regard in which the Church holds the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Through centuries, blue has been more than just a color; it has been a thread woven into the fabric of our faith, reminding us of the heavenly grace and purity of the Mother of God.

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Note: While content aims to align with Catholic teachings, any inconsistencies or errors are unintended. For precise understanding, always refer to authoritative sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Always double-check any quotes for word-for-word accuracy with the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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