Mary the Mother of Jesus

Back to James M. Reardon Part I 1932     Reverend James M. Reardon 1955     Basilica_of_Saint_Mary_Index_1955         St. Anthony 1848
Sanctuary Hand-forged wroght iron
our Blessed Lady after the crucifixon
Three Sets of Inscriptions A Striking Calvary Group In the apse are five windows
The Sanctuary Windows The Windows of the Nave The windows in the side aisles
Over the entrances at the corners of the nave Archangels are on guard
Pulpit The Sacristy Monsignour Augustine_Ravoux
The sanctuary is separated from the ambulatories by twelve monoliths of full-veined Swiss Cipolin marble supporting an entablature of Botticino marble at a height of eighteen feet.  The spaces between them being filled with grilles of hand-forged wrought iron, highlighted, and artistic in design and finish, the nine major sections of which contain panels depicting traditional scenes in the life of our Blessed Lady after the crucifixon, done with all the delicate tracery of a steel engraving.
Beginning on the gospel side behind the front pier they are, in order, the Return from Calvary; the Descent of the Holy Ghost; the Angel Announcing Her Death; Her Last Meeting with the Apostles; Her Death; Her Body Borne to the Grave; Her Burial; Her Assumption into Heaven; Her Coronation in Heaven
Entrance to the sanctuary is through gates in the middle section of the rear grille.
On the front of the pulpit is the inscription:
"Praedicate Evangelium Omni Creaturae" (Preach the gospel to every creature),
the divine commission given to the Apostles and their successors by the Savior Himself.
The following Apostle statues {Basilica of Saint Mary Minneapolis, MN}replicas of those in St John Lateran (Rome), and the only replicas ever made; in order from east Sanctuary side to west
Saint Judas Thaddaeu
James the Less
Brother {Jude}html
Saint Matthew called by Jesus
  St Philip called by Jesus
Saint Timothy Saint James the Greater Saint Paul
Simon Peter  Andrew's brother Saint Andrew Saint James the lesser
John  Evangelist  Mark

Bartholomew (Nathaniel)
  James Great's brother
Simon Zealous for souls
Three Sets of Inscriptions  Those on the gospel side refer to the Blessed Sacrament:
     Each section of the entablature of the sanctuary Adoremus in Aeternum SSSacramentum" (Let us forever adore the Most Blessed Sacrament) ; "Hic Est Panis Qui De Coelo Descendit" (This is the bread that came down from Heaven); "Qui Bibet Meum Sanguinem in Me Manet" Whosoever drinketh my blood abideth in me 
Texts behind the altar refer to the Church:
 "Domum Tuam Domine Decet Sanctitudo" Holiness becometh thy house, 0 Lord;
"Sedes Tua Deus in Seculum Seculi" Thy throne, 0 God, is forever and ever;
"Domus Mea Domus Orationis Vocabitur" My house shall be called the house of prayer.
On the epistle side the inscriptions refer to the Blessed Mothcr: "Macula Originalis Non Est in Te, Maria" There is no stain of original sin in thee, 0 Mary; "Beatam Me Dicent Omnes Generationes" All generations shall call me blessed; "Ora Pro Nobis Sancta Dei Genetrix"  Pray for us, 0 Holy Mother of God.
A Striking Calvary Group
The corresponding pier on the epistle side offers an ideal background for a striking Calvary group. 
The crucifix, modeled after the miraculous crucifix of Lympias in Spain, is carved from a single block of stone anchored to the masonry when the wall was built.  Statues of the Sorrowful Mother and of St. John are chiseled from the same material.
Beneath is the legend: "Consummatum Est" It is consummated. The weeping Magdalen is not represented.
Her place is taken by the faithful who pray before the shrine.
In the centre of the carved frieze beneath the sills of these windows are symbols of the Blessed Virgin:
Dove, Tower of David, Pomegranate, Sun, Lily, Fleur-de-lis, Rose, Star, Three Lilies and Pierced Heart.
On the front of the balcony over the vestibule are, from left to right,
Gate of Heaven, Lilies, Ark of the Covenant, Seven-branched Candlestick and Jacob's Ladder

In the semi-circular panels above the inner doors the symbols are, a
Chalice with Wheat & Grapes,  Lamb (Son of God), triangle & hand (Father), Dove (Holy Ghost), open Bible.

Confessionals are of polished Tavernelle marble with interior wood trim, and are equipped with reading and pilot lights, self-closing side doors, circular slides, perforated domes for ventilation and an inscription above the front door of each one.  These biblical texts are all different and so arranged that, beginning in the rear of the church, they express a consciousness of personal guilt, a sense of sorrow for sin, gradually relieved, as one approaches the altar, by a realization of God's mercy in the Sacrament of Penance. Beginning at the rear on the gospel side, these mottoes are.  "A peccato meo munda me" Cleanse me from my sin; "Poenitentiam agite" Do penance "Remittuntur tibi pecata" Thy sins are forgiven thee; "Facite fructus poenicata" Bring forth fruits worthy of penance.
     From the rear on the epistle side:  "Pater peccavi coram te" Father, I have sinned before thee; "Convertimini ad me" Be converted to me; "Confitemini peccata vestra" Confess your sins; "Facite vobis cor novum" Make to yourself a new heart. The word "Pax" (Peace) is carved in bas-relief above the side doors of the confessionals, indicative of the peace of soul found within.  The top panel of each door is of leaded glass. 

Those in the front doors are ornamented with the shields of eight Doctors of the Church
On the epistle side, from the rear - St. Gregory the Great; St. Jerome; St. Bonaventure; St. Gregory Nazianzen
On the gospel side - St.  Bernard; St. Augustine of Hippo; St. Ambrose; St. Thomas Aquinas.

St. Mark Feastday: April 25 Patron of notaries
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark.

Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there.

 St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark's cousin) on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus.  Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone.
We know also that he was in Rome with St. Peter and St. Paul.  Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria.

St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D.;  he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity.

Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel.
 In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen throuhh the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. 
In the apse are five windows, 17 1/4 feet high by 4 feet wide, the upper parts of which are filled with angels playing on musical instruments, , representing the heavenly choirs singing the praises of God, while the lower portions of four of them (the fifth is hidden by the organ chamber) are occupied by figures of the Evangelists
(Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
and of four great Doctors of the Church, namely,
St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, St. Ambrose, and St. Jerome.
The Sanctuary Windows
In the dome are twelve pure grisaille windows containing symbols of the Virgin Mary in medallion form as follows:
Ark of the Covenant;  Tower of David; Enclosed Garden;  Sealed Fountain;  Lofty Cedar;  Fleur-de-lis;  Mystical Rose;  Gate of Heaven;  City of God;  Fountain of Living Water;  Pomegranate; the Pierced Heart. 
The Windows of the Nave
Between the two events pictured in the rose windows of the transept is traced the life-story of the Blessed Virgin, the patroness of the Basilica, in the twenty scenes depicted in the clerestory windows.  Beginning on the gospel side they are: Her Marriage to St. Joseph; the Annunciation; the Visit to St. Elizabeth; the Nativity of Our Lord; the Adoration of the Magi; the Presentation in the Temple; the Flight into Egypt; the Holy Family at Nazareth; Finding in the Temple; Death of St. Joseph;
the Marriage at Cana; the Meeting on the Way to Calvary; the Crucifixion; the Removal of Christ from the Cross; the Deposition; the Burial; the Return from Calvary; the Apparition of the Risen Lord to His Mother; the Descent of the Holy Ghost; the Death of the Blessed Virgin.  In most of these scenes Christ and His Mother are shown.
In all of them the Blessed Virgin is easily recognized by the distinctive shade of blue reserved for her. 
The figures are life-size and the scenes readily interpreted.
Surmounting these scenes is a canopy of winged angels, fully vested, upborne on fleecy clouds,
each holding a religious emblem connected, for the most part, with the Passion
Above this group in each window is an angel with a ribbon on which is inscribed in Latin an invocation from the Litany of Loretto; and crowning all, in the ten topmost circular windows, each fifty-two inches in diameter, are angels exhibiting scrolls on each of which is a verse from the Magnificat in Latin.
The windows in the side aisles show  full-sized figures of historic personages from the Old Testament and the New, together with scriptural texts in English,  linking each one with the scene depicted in the clerestory window above
Beginning on the gospel side they are:
Raguel (Tobias VII- 15) {Page 131}Isaias (Isaias Vll- 14) ; Anna ( 1 Kings II-1)
Micheas (Micheas V-2); Balaam (Numbers XXIV-17); Malachias (Malachias III-1); Jacob (Genesis XLVI-3, 4);
(Exodus XX-12) St. Luke (Luke II-46); Solomon (3 Kings VIII-56); St. John (John II-5); Rachel (Matthew II-18) Amos (Amos VIII-9);  Zacharias (John XIX-37) ;  Jeremias (Lamentations I-12)  Jonas (Jonas II-7) ;
Joseph of Arimathea
(John XIX-27) Abraham (Genesis XVII-1); Judith (Judith XV-10);  St. Peter (1 Peter V-4).

Over the entrances at the corners of the nave Archangels are on guard
On the gospel side above the communion rail stands St. Michael (who is like unto God) armed with sword and shield and opposite him St. Raphael (the medicine of God) with trident and fish
The front entrances are resided over by four Archangels, 
Jophiel  (the beauty of God), with a flaming sword in his right hand;
Uriel  (the light of God), holding the book of knowledge, at the southwest corner;
Gabriel  (the strength of God), holding a staff topped with orb and cross;
Chamuel (one who sees God), with staff in the right hand and chalice in the left, at the northwest.
Rose window of the front portrays the Madonna and Child enthroned and surrounded by choirs of adoring angles.
The Sacristy
Artistic electric light fixtures adorn the walls of the sacristy, and from the ceiling are suspended elegant chandeliers of bronze and aurine glass.  The windows duplicate the richness of coloring and design of those in the church.  The front rose window, six feet in diameter, shows Christ the King enthroned with adoring angels, and the opposite one represents
  3 High Priests {Page 135}- Christ, Aaron and Melchisedeck with the insignia of their sacrificial office.
The side windows above the vestment cases contain a crucifix and the Latin prayers said by the priest vesting for Mass