This is a painting by Caravaggio, from 1605. It usually resides in the church Sant'Agostino in Rome, but I saw it last fall in the Galleria Borghese, as part of a Caravaggio exhibit. The virgin Mary is barefoot, and both her and the child look very real, but what touched me the most were the pilgrim's dirty feet, clothes and the realness and sincerity of their devotion to the child. These are real people, lined by real lives, and they've probably walked far and suffered hardship to be able to kneel before the Christ child. Look at their faces, uplit by the Virgin and the child. Look at their happiness. Their calm, serene postures, forgetting pain, hunger, loss, problems, because they're just where they want to be.
What a blessing it is to be in such a place.
With this I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas!