Models of Christianity
Born out of respect for those early martyrs who gave their life for the faith and nourished by so many others who lived out the faith, sometimes very unassumingly, Christians have treasured their devotion to the Saints, known and unkown throughout the ages.
- we venerate the saints as our heroes, great and small
- we pray to the saints so they may intercede for us before God
- we learn about the saints so we may follow their example and become stronger in our faith
Mary, Mother of God
As the mother of Jesus, Mary accompanied him on his earthly journey, even unto the cross. There Jesus shared his mother with all of us so she became our mother. As a mother Mary has appeared throughout the ages to people who were in need of comfort or correction. Some of The Basilica's shrines dedicated to Mary relate to her being the Mother of God, others to her being our mother.
When the Irish and Italian immigrant founders of the Parish moved into The Basilica they brought with them Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Today, our community is much more diverse. The images of Mary are representative of her many apparitions throughout the world, often in the image of the people to whom she appeared.
Among our treasure of representations of Mary you will find:
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of Mexico and the Americas. Her feast is celebrated on December 12.
The Mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe was created by the Vatican Mosaic Studios after the miraculous image which appeared on Juan Diego's mantle. This mantle is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The Mosaic can be found in the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the south/west corner of the church, to your left upon entering through the main doors.
Our Lady of La'Vang
Fearing the growth of Catholicism in Vietnam emperor Cahn Thinh first restricted Catholicism in 1798. Soon this turned into persecution. Fearing for their lives many Catholics fled. A group of refugees hid in the forest of La'Vang in the Quang Tri Province. Every night they gathered to pray the rosary. According to the tradition, one night, while they were at prayer a vision of a woman dressed in traditional Vietnamese garb and holding a child appeared to them. She consoled them and told them how to use the leaves of the trees as medicine for the sick.
Our Lady of La'Vang is the Patroness of Vietnam and all Vietnamese people. Her feast day is November 22.
This marble sculpture of Our Lady of La'Vang was carved by an unknown artist in Vietnam.
You can find the shrine of Our Lady of La'Vang near the Apse in the north-west corner of The Basilica.
Our Lady of Africa
The feast of Our Lady of Africa has its origin in the blessing of a statue of the Blessed Virgin, known as Our Lady of Africa on April 30, 1876 in the newly built church of Our Lady of Africa in Algiers.
Since then the church throughout Africa has adopted Our Lady of Africa as the Patroness of the African Continent.
The feast of Our Lady of Africa is celebrated on April 30. On that day people pray for peace and prosperity as well as for greater faith and vitality of the church in Africa.
Our Lady of Ethiopia
Though this version is more abstract that traditional Ethiopian paintings of Mother and Child, the composition and the treatment of the eyes is very reminiscent of Ethiopian art.
Though most saints are celebrated throughout the world, each church has its own collection of Saints which have a special connection to the community. Though these saints maybe popular at a certain moment in the history of a specific church, they may be replaced with other saints who evolve with the community itself. The Basilica's saints are reflective both of the time the community was founded and of the community today.
Among others, The Basilica Saints include:
The Sacred Heart
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is rooted in the deep love God expressed in the self-giving life of Jesus. Several medieval mystics had visions where this love was symbolized by Jesus offering his heart to the mystic. Sometimes the vision included the mystic giving her heart in return to Jesus, symbolizing her love for Him.
Most influential among these visionaries was Sister Margaret Marie Alacoque (1645-1690). With the help of her spiritual director Father Croiset the devotion to the Sacred Heart became widespread.
Though the feast had been celebrated locally, in 1856 Pope Pius IX declared the Feast of the Sacred Heart to be universal. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. Pope Pius X decreed that this consecration be held annually.
The feast is a moveable feast, celebrated on Friday, 19 days after Pentecost.
Our marble statue of the Sacred Heart was obtained from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN.
St. Anne, Mother of Mary
Our shrine dedicated to St. Anne has been an important place of pilgrimage throughout the years.
In addition to the beautiful statue of St. Anne teaching her yond daughter, Mary a relic of St. Anne is buried in the shrine’s altar.
St. Anne is the patroness of mothers and grandmothers.
The feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim is celebrated on July 26.
St. John Vianney
The Feast of St. John Vianney is celebrated on August 4.
Our statue of St. John Vianney originally stood in the shrine which is now dedicated to Our Lady of La'Vang, next to the sacristy. Today it stands surrounded by trees and flowers in the Vocation Garden of The Basilica.