Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, six new statues, handmade in Peru, are now beautifying our sanctuary, lining up as an honor guard on either side of the Holy Trinity. These six saints are, after Our Lady and Saint Joseph, the patrons of our Order. Our Lady and Saint Joseph have side shrines with much larger statues.
Beginning on the Gospel side top, we have Saint Louis de Montfort, triumphantly stepping on a horned demon. Across from him, on the Epistle side, is Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, with her cross and roses. In the central vertical position on the Gospel side is Saint Teresa of Ávila, quill and book in hand, and the doctor’s biretta at her feet (long before she was declared a Doctor of the Church, her sisters called her “la Doctora de Los doctores” — “the Teacher of the teachers” — for her beautiful explanations of the way of sanctity on which she walked). Across from her is her younger Carmelite brother and Doctor of the Church, Saint John of the Cross, with his friar’s tonsure and appropriately embracing the Holy Cross. On the Gospel side bottom is Saint Benedict, the Father of all Western Monks and eponymous patron of Saint Benedict Center. Across from him is his twin Sister, Saint Scholastica.
Saint Benedict’s Abbot’s staff is facing outward, a sign of his jurisdiction. Saint Scholastica’s is turned to face inward, since she is in the presence of the Abbot.
Here is a photo of the way our sanctuary now looks:
Here are a couple of closer up shots, taken in the sacristy on the day we first received the delivery:
All of our six patrons are religious. Two of them are founders: Saint Benedict and Saint Louis de Montfort. Two of them are priests: Saint Louis and Saint John of the Cross (Saint Benedict, though Abbot [monastic “Father”] and “Father of Western Monks,” was just a brother). Two male-female pairs of them knew each other in life: Saints Teresa of Ávila and John of the Cross, and Saints Benedict and Scholastica. Two are representative of ancient monasticism: Saints Benedict and Scholastica. Three are representative of the medieval mendicant friars and their associated nuns: the three Carmelites (Saints John, Teresa, and Thérèse). One is a representative of modern, active missionary congregations: Saint Louis de Montfort.
Some trivia questions for you to discover the answers to (answer in the comboxes if you like):
- Why does Saint Benedict have a raven at his feet?
- Why does he have a cup with a snake in it in his hand?
- Why is Saint Scholastica holding a dove?
- What do you call the “funny haircuts” of Saints Benedict and John of the Cross?
- Why are Saint Benedict’s and Saint Scholastica’s scapulars not visible? (Hint: They’re wearing something on top. What’s it called?)
- What do you call the little white tabs that hang about Saint Louis de Montfort’s neck?
- What is the book that the devil under Saint Louis is holding, and why is he holding it?
There are still items to be purchased and memorialized.