Christian Charity is a type of Christian iconography, at least since the Renaissance. At the root of this allegory are the contrasting aspects of human love versus divine love, the former intended to illustrate human love's fragility and the latter the immortal love of the human soul. During the Counter Reformation, the theme of a beautiful woman nursing her young undoubtedly would have been recognized as an allegory for Charity or Love. The woman might also represent a personification of the Roman Catholic Church, her children representing the human soul hungry for spiritual nourishment provided through the Church's sacraments - a decidedly Catholic doctrine rejected by most Protestant denominations.
Based in: http://tours.daytonartinstitute.org/accessart/object.cfm?TT=ac&TN=dw09&ID=89&COM=ac