Friday, August 14, 2009

The Oldest Statue of Mary in the USA!

I love nice-looking statues....of course, the very beautiful ones are but a dream as I could never afford to pay thousands for a statue...but I love to look. Some are so beautiful and serve as a wonderful means to contemplate perhaps certain virtues of the particular saint,etc. Do you enjoy beautiful statues, too?

Well, that being said, I always had my eye on getting a La Conquistadora Statue of Our Lady but they are pretty rare or costly when I do come across one. :) (Oh, yes, one day she shall be mine! hahahahha!)

So, imagine my great joy when she brought me to her! :o What a sweet little mother we have! It really happened & here is the story:

I went to The Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi (congregation est. 1610!!) in Santa Fe, NM (great city, btw!). Inside, I serendipitously entered (unbeknown to me at the time) La Conquistadora Chapel!

This chapel was built in honor of La Conquistadora, a statue of the BVM, which was brought to Santa Fe in 1626(!) by a Franciscan priest, Fray Alonso Benavides.

Originally named Our Lady of the Rosary, this statue was entitled Our Lady of the Conquest (a name it was given in 1693 when the Spanish Settlers were able to peaceably re-enter Santa Fe). The title has come to be used as a symbol of the manner in which the Blessed Mother can conquer the hearts of her people with her faith and love (isn't that the truth?!).

The backdrop for the statue is a "reredos," a Spanish mural of different designs, depicting various saints.

To the left of La Conquistadora, in the wall, is a coffin of two of the early Franciscan priests! The stained glass window above depicts Archbishop Lamy! (His remains are in the Basilica along with 9 other Archbishops!).

We got to kneel in front of this original statue, so beautiful, so ancient, so-chased by me! (ha!), and pray as a family. It was lovely!

What a wonderful GIFT from Mother to me! I had no clue it was the oldest statue in the US, nor that it was here (nevermind thinking I'd see it). Isn't that just typical of a mother, surprising you with little unexpected joys? (Usually their joy is even greater than the child's, as they love to see the happy delighted "wow!" on the face of their child.)

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee...blessed are Thou amongst women and blessed is the FRUIT of your (Immaculate) womb, Jesus....Holy Mary, Mother of God, ((and my mother)), pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. AMEN! :))

Thanks, Mother!!! You rock!

No comments: