Rome, Tony Blair, and the EU

400px-Albrecht_Dürer,_Apocalypse_of_St_John,_The_Dragon_with_the_Seven_HeadsClick here to see a picture of Tony Blair signing the EU constitution before a bronze statue of Pope Innocent X by Alessandro Algardi.  The signing took place on Capitoline Hill, Rome, on October 29, 2004:

Note the 12 stars and the connection to Mary.  This comes from a Catholic view of Revelation 12:

Revelation 12:1:  And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

Historically, Christians understood the woman in Revelation 12 to be representative of the church.  For instance, here is what Matthew Henry says in his commentary:

Revelation 12:1-11

Here we see that early prophecy eminently fulfilled in which God said he would put enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, Gen_3:15. You will observe,

I. The attempts of Satan and his agents to prevent the increase of the church, by devouring her offspring as soon as it was born; of this we have a very lively description in the most proper images.  1. We see how the church is represented in this vision. (1.) As a woman, the weaker part of the world, but the spouse of Christ, and the mother of the saints. (2.) As clothed with the sun, the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Having put on Christ, who is the Sun of righteousness, she, by her relation to Christ, is invested with honourable rights and privileges, and shines in his rays. (3.) As having the moon under her feet (that is, the world); she stands upon it, but lives above it; her heart and hope are not set upon sublunary things, but on the things that are in heaven, where her head is. (4.) As having on her head a crown of twelve stars, that is, the doctrine of the gospel preached by the twelve apostles, which is a crown of glory to all true believers. (5.) As in travail, crying out, and pained to be delivered. She was pregnant, and now in pain to bring forth a holy progeny to Christ, desirous that what was begun in the conviction of sinners might end in their conversion, that when the children were brought to the birth there might be strength to bring forth, and that she might see of the travail of her soul.