For a long time Christians were wary of creating carved images for fear that they broke the commandment not to make carved idols. Christian artwork was therefore only painted icons. In the Western church, over time, the icons began to be portrayed in low relief–carvings in the wall similar to our Stations of the Cross. Eventually artists accepted that a full statue could be carved representing Jesus, Mary and the saints. The statues remind us that “we are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:10
Our Lady of the Rosary
At the head of the North Aisle is the carved image of Our Lady of the Rosary. She is crowned as Queen of Heaven and holds her son who is also crowned. She tramples down the serpent Satan, thus showing her role as the Second Eve. She offers the Holy Rosary as the way for us to participate in this battle.
The votive candle stand donated by the Minder family.
The view up the North Aisle culminates in the new Romanesque styled statue of St. Joseph that complements the Image of Our Lady of the Rosary on the North Transept.
The “half round” carving in these two statues shows the evolution of Catholic art. First the flat icon, then the low relief carvings in the wall of the church. Then a statue, like these, which is flat on the back, then a full round statue.
These images also show the Romanesque art form which can also be seen in the stained glass windows by Wilbur Burnham. This is characterized by elongated figures and stylized gestures. This art form echoes the same features found in Eastern icons and shows the development from that earlier Christian art.
The votive candle stand was donated by the Schiera Family.
Saint Benedict and Saint Francis
The two statues at the back of the church are of St. Benedict and St. Francis. They were chosen because of the balance these two saints bring to the church. St. Benedict is the father of Western monasticism and stands for the contemplative life of prayer. St. Francis is the founder of the active, apostolic life of prayer and action in the world. St Benedict is pictured with book–his famous rule for the monastic life. The bird and chalice reminders of two miracles associated with the saint. St. Francis is shown in his poor robes and with a crucifix. The stigmata–physical marks of his participation in the cross of Christ are visible on his hands. The two statues are not only of two of the most beloved saints for Catholics, but they also remind us of the two most recent popes: Benedict XVI and Francis. Both statues were salvaged from dis-used churches and restored for our church.
St. Benedict statue is a gift of the Bricco Family.
The St. Francis statue is a gift of the White Family.
Saint Michael the Archangel
The statue of St. Michael the Archangel was given in memory of Michael Bennett–a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. It is a reminder of the battle against evil to which all of us are called. The St. Michael statue a gift of the Bennett Family.
The beautiful statue of a guardian angel was given by the Cooley family in memory of all children and their families suffering from terminal illness. As part of the Infant of Prague Shrine it provides a spiritual dimension to our parish’s pro-life work—reminding us of the words of the Lord Jesus that the Father assigns a guardian angel to guide each one of us—but especially the children and that, unless we become as trusting as a little child we cannot enter Christ’s kingdom. The statue is a fine antique made in a French workshop and restored by local artist Jim Craft.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.