On his blog today, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (AKA "Father Z") examines a little-known series of images in which Our Lady wields a club while protecting a child from the devil. Essentially, in these images, the normally-pious Mary is about to beat the devil with a stick... literally.
Sure, it's just one seemingly-insignificant depiction of Mary from the Italian Renaissance (after all, there just really aren't any modern depictions of a club-weilding Mary). But it's still really cool! Sure, Mary is super sweet (heck, she's perfect for crying our loud!). But many of us Southern Catholics can definitely relate to a scrappy Mother who's sweet as sugar but wouldn't think twice about smacking a snake who threatened her child. So, if your mind is inundated with too many sappy images of Our Lady, you might do well to take a gander at these examples of Madonna del Soccorso, or "Our Lady of Assistance."