Monday, 13 February 2017

Mosaics and Mysteries

the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
© Teresa Newham
The second week in February once again found a group from our parish in  Lourdes to celebrate the feast day of Our Lady. The Basilica of the Rosary, with its wonderful mosaic frontage, looked spectacular in the clear, cold, dry weather.

facade of the Basilica of the Rosary
© Teresa Newham
The mosaics on the front of the Basilica were added in 2007 to depict the recently-instituted Mysteries of Light, and glow with a life of their own; the mosaic work can be seen clearly in this section below:

mosaic of The Transfiguration
© Teresa Newham

Inside, fifteen chapels contain mosaics of the original Mysteries of the Rosary - the five Joyful Mysteries, the five Sorrowful Mysteries and the five Glorious Mysteries. Each chapel contains an altar as well as the mosaic, and provides a wonderful opportunity for contemplation and prayer.

chapels showing the mosaics of the Glorious Mysteries
© Teresa Newham
 The mosaics, designed by various European artists at the beginning of the 20th century and restored about ten years ago, are simply stunning.   The Annunciation, shown below, is one of my favourites:

the first Joyful Mystery - the Annunciation
© Teresa Newham

On either side of the Basilica are two enormous "arms" of arches, which seem to embrace the Domain beyond.   On the evening of the feast day, the pathways along the top of these arches were filled with people watching the torchlight procession - several thousand strong - as it made its way round the Domain, with candles held aloft everywhere as we prayed and sang:

the torchlight procession in front of the Basilica
© Teresa Newham

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful spiritual nourishment - and excellent photos!