Statues can hold so many memories

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We have a beautiful statue of Our Lady in our chapel. Mary is half concealed behind her infant son, holding him up high, presenting him to us.  The child is raising his little arms exultantly as if in delight and blessing,  a gesture which also suggests his coming death and joyous resurrection. The inscription at the base of the statue reads: ‘French statue from Maison St. Louis. Pere Charles Rey SJ gave it to FCJ 1960s.’

Is it superstitious to feel a kind of affection for statues?  I don’t think so, for the affection is for who the statues represent, and sometimes for the people who once  treasured them. Our founder, Marie Madeleine, kept the statue of Our Lady of the Bridge, which her father had rescued and preserved when  the bridge was destroyed, and Gumley House,London, still has Our Lady of the Class from Marie Madeleine’s time.

My brother treasures a small, delicately coloured Hummel statue of Our Lady and her infant son which our father bought in the 1950s. It was part of our childhood. My father saw this identical statue, in white, in the catholic repository window on sale for four guineas (four pounds twenty pence) which was a lot of money in those days. He began to save up for it but before he had enough it went. Sold. He was disappointed. But then the same statue in colour appeared in the window, now for five guineas. This time my dad asked the shopkeeper to save it for him.

I find statues can hold so many memories when they have been quietly there in our lives, year after year, symbolizing the humble, faithful, loving presence of the Unseen, our source of strength, our hope.

One Response to “Statues can hold so many memories”

  1. clarefcj Says:

    Thank you for this Rachel…I agree that statues can hold many beautiful memories for us…I love that statue of Our lady of the Class.

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