Posts tagged “France

Saint Therese of Lisieux

Posted on March 19, 2017

Song: Prayer to Saint Therese of Lisieux Istudied art in college, focusing on painting. One day I went to the library to find source material for a project and came across a Catholic history book. Inside it was a brief story of the life of Saint Therese, also known as the Little Flower. I recalled that, as a little girl, I admired a statue of a petite nun who stood outside my family’s first parish in Springfield, Illinois. I don’t remember much about Sunday services at Little Flower Church, but something about that statue stayed with me. Who Was Therese? Therese Martin was born in 1873 in Alençon, France, the youngest daughter of devoutly Catholic parents. When Therese was only four years old,…

Saint Bernadette of Lourdes

Posted on February 26, 2017

Song: Bernadette Marie Brown was my maternal grandmother and a devout Catholic. When she died, she left behind a string of rosary beads, connected by a small Saint Bernadette medal. Curious about the saint, my sister Lynn and I turned to the Internet, where we came across a strange, recent photo of Bernadette’s body lying in a glass tomb. Bernadette died in 1879, but in the photo, her face and hands appeared as fresh and alive as Lynn’s or mine. Intrigued, Lynn and I dug deeper and learned that the mortal remains of many Catholic saints are preserved intact. The Church has deemed their bodies incorruptible. In 2009, Lynn visited Nevers, France, to see Bernadette for herself. Thin wax masks covered the saint’s…

Saint Cecilia

Posted on February 3, 2017

Song: Quiet Cecilia The town of Albi in southwest France is home to Saint Cecilia Cathedral, a massive structure built by wealthy clergymen between the 13th and 15th Centuries. I toured the church in 2016 and was awestruck by the unusually elaborate murals, carvings, and statuary covering every inch of the interior. This lavish ornamentation contrasts starkly with the cathedral’s plain, fortress-like exterior. Standing outside the forbidding walls, it’s clear that the architects were sending a message about military might. Among the decorations inside the church are several artworks depicting Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. A huge pipe organ, added in the 1800s, commands attention with its size and a mighty sound. Who Was Cecilia? Cecilia was a Roman pagan who converted to…