Skip to comments.My visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Posted on 02/06/2006 11:57:41 AM PST by Teófilo
Folks, I'm back, after a very busy weekend doing that thing I do with the military. However, this time around, the Lord granted me the grace to visit the John Paul II Cultural Center and right across the road, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I only had my trusty phone cam and I didn't take puctures at the Center, but I took a few at the Shrine. I want to share two of them with all of you.
This is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as you approach it from the front. I was amazed that I was far enough for it to fit my phone cam's lense, yet close enough to really appreciate its size and volume. Several architectonic styles converge on the building, in my lay opinion--no pun intended. The dome harkens to the Renaissance and Baroque; the bell tower seems Romanesque and the facade, Gothic.
This is a giant mosaic of Our Lord Jesus Christ which adorns the upper vault at the back of the Sanctuary. It is reminiscent of Byzantine "Pantokrator" iconographic depictions. However, the subject is Christ as the Judge described in the Book of Revelation. He's show escorted, as it were, by four angels or "seraphim."
These are not really good pictures. I promise you that next time, I'll take my brand new 5 megapixel digital camera which we gave ourselves last Christmas.
- Read the official spill about the Basilica's archicture here.
For those who haven't been there, I add that the mosaic of Christ the King seated in Judgement absolutely dominates the entire nave of the Basilica. The first reaction on walking in is to look up (the place is enormous), and having looked up one's eyes are immediately caught by that mosaic.
Which is what a Catholic church should do to every visitor: force them to look "up." I visit the Basilica every time I have a chance.
Did you go to the nearby Monastery that has a replica of Jerusalem? It is a garden area that is just beautiful!
No, I didn't. However, I did spend two nights at the nearby Capuchin College, courtesy of my spiritual father. It beat the hotel the military had set aside for me. :-)
That reminds me of grad school days at CUA.Thanks.
Next time go to that Monastery's gardens...just fabulous.
Suggest to her that she goes to that Monastery...very nice.
Thank you very much for the pics, and the link to the article about the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception....
When I was 16, I went with several of my high school friends on a trip to Washington D.C....and our tour bus took us to this Shrine...but I could not go in...
The reason I could not go in, is odd to many...I have a very odd or strange phobia, involving heights...Now I am not afraid of being up very high, my fear of heights is very strange....I have a phobia, concerning high ceilings in buildings...especially domed high ceilings...just thinking about high domed ceilings causes my heart to beat extra fast, the palms of my hands to sweat, my breathing becomes labored, and I feel like I am going to pass out at best, or just going to die....it is not really a debilitating phobia, except when I might be exposed to a high ceiling...
So when we visited this Shrine, all my friends went inside, and toured around, and I just sat on the tour bus(I was even afraid to get out of the bus, because the Shrine is so tall, and even tall bldgs, sometimes freak me out)....
My parents and I have a theory as to why I have this phobia, and its probably the reason I have this phobia(and phobias are almost impossible to get rid of, you just have to learn to live with them)....
But, I always regretted not being able to go inside of this Shrine, as everyone on our tour, who went in, said it was just amazing, and so beautiful...
The link you provided, to the website about the Shrine, also includes a virtual tour, which hopefully, later on this evening, I will visit...sometimes even seeing high ceilings on TV, can frighten me, so it will take some effort on my part to take this virtual tour...but I will make the effort...
Again, I thank you very much for you pics, and the link to the Shrines site...maybe now, after 45yrs of waiting, I can visit the Shrine, if only on the internet...
Aint progress grand?
Which Mass did you go to? The music is magnificent. The processional crucifix is huge. I love the stately and solemn liturgy there. Even if the homily is so-so, I come away feeling really peaceful and fed.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Hope, dedicated May 29, 1994, is a gift of actor and comedian Bob Hope and his wife Dolores in memory of Mr. Hope's mother, Avis Townes Hope.
Tradition holds that Mary appeared to six small children in the sky over a barn in the village of Pontmain, France, Jan. 18, 1871. The children and the townspeople were troubled by the prospect of war. As Prussian troops drew closer, Mary instructed the children to pray fervently and assured them of an end to the conflict. Filled with confidence, the villagers gathered with their pastor in supplication at the site of the apparition. Three days after Mary's appearance, the opposing forces withdrew. A week later, the clash formally ended and all the villagers who had enlisted to fight returned safely. In 1900 a shrine church was consecrated in Pontmain, France and entrusted to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The devotion was introduced in the United States in 1953 by the Oblates, who established a similar shrine at their mission house along Lake Champlain in New York.
The chapel is constructed entirely of white Carrera and fior de pesco marble imported from Italy. The solid bronze sculptures of Mary and of the two angels are the artistry of Dale Claude Lamphere.
I went to Saturday evenings. Can't go Sunday mornings while on duty. The homily was good, for it involved the Steelers and the question on how much are we willing to struggle to win God. Good analogy!
Steelers in the homily? Do elaborate. Or maybe not to keep the peace. ;)
Do you live near Washington?
I went to CUA undergrad, and briefly for grad school. I visited the Shrine quite often. Even up until the last few years, we regularly went to the Shrine for Mass. Not so much the last couple of years.
When I was at CUA, some of our professors used to mock the architecturally... "eclectic" style. I had one professor of theology who said its architectural monstrosity was rivaled by its ecclesiastical monstrosity (apparently, at least back then, it was neither fish nor fowl, not a parish, but not under the direct control of the Archbishop of Washington). I always kinda liked it, and now, like it even more.
Why, certainly. The theme was, are we willing to "fight for God" as much as the Steelers were willing to fight for their trophy? It captivated the faithful or at least, it did get my attention...
Relatively speaking...four hours away in PA.
One of the most charming, and also revealing, parts of the Basilica is the ground floor, where on the walls are squares that contain the names of the benefactors who contributed money for the construction of the Basilica. [Full Disclosure: my paternal grandparents and my father and 3 uncles are listed in one square]. As your eye moves over the walls, you glimpse the vast diversity of the American Church that contributed to the Basilica, and the many small amounts of money that were gathered from people of modest means [such as my grandparents]. Shows that the Catholic Church is truly diverse, and the church of the poor.
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