Orans; Orante

[Orans] (Latin: orare, to pray)

One of the most frequently depicted figures in the Roman Catacombs is this female figure, praying with out-stretched arms. This ideal figure is regarded as a symbol of the soul in heaven praying for friends on earth. At first the Orans was represented in simplest garb but later became richly adorned. A remarkable Orans of the 4th century is supposed to represent the Blessed Virgin in the act of intercession.

New Catholic Dictionary

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