Around these parts, when a Catholic like yours truly talks about going to the Shrine, what they mean is “I’m going to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”
I was down there all last night because they were taping the masses for shut-ins, and my church choir was the choir for those two dates (3rd and 5th Sunday of this upcoming Lent). They have the masses in the Crypt Church, which is one of my favorite places on the planet. If the upstairs is all Majesty, the downstairs Crypt Church is all Mystery.
I took some pictures with my cell phone of some of my favorite things. A friend was taking some others, and I’m hoping she emails me copies to add.
Oh, and there will be another post coming up right after this with a set that goes together.
Pictures after the break ^_^!
The Shrine at Night, as I walked in. That's a bell tower on the left, btw.
Outside the Gift Shop, St. Michael with a Very Fine Hat
Archangel Uriel has Jesus' six. Odd, considering Uriel is a "non-Canonical", and therefore, it's really official since around 600AD. Whatevs, he's still totally bad@ss
"Holy Family at Rest". This is as you're entering the Crypt area. I love this sculpture, showing the Holy Family resting on the flight to Egypt, everyone completely tuckered out, including the donkey. So beautifully human . . .
Our Lady Mother of Mandkind, in Memorial Hall leading to the Crypt Church
Blessed Mother Theresa, who visited the Shrine on a couple occasions.
Bl Kateri Tekawitha
In the Crypt Church. My patron this year, St. Margaret of Antioch.
One of the first saints I ever got to know, St. Catherine of Alexandria
St. Brigid, a proper Irish abbess, who blesses dried wells and they bring forth beer. . .
Crypt Church Altar from choir's POV. Congregation to the left.
Detail above Crypt Church Altar
The Crypt Church Organ. Real pipes, ya'll. Love it.
St. Anne, Mum of Our Lady. I love this image of Mary being held as she is often shown holding her Son. Clearly, she was studious even at a young age.
The area north of the Altar, they'd just turned the main lights on. This is how these little chapels are arrounged around the altar, on groupings of five to north, east and west.
One of the great things about the Crypt is that every time I go, I notice something I'd never noticed before. Like these angels on the arches.
Stations of the Cross around the church
Above the Holy Water Dispencer, by Our Lady of Mariazell. Due to proximity, I'm assuming these are Austrian
Our Lady of Mariazell. Known to my family as "Spaceship Jesus." *sigh*
My Confirmation Patron, St. Cecilia
Saints Felicity and Perpetua. Real BFFs!
Our Lady, Queen of Peace
St Elizabeth Ann Seton