Sunday, May 11, 2008

Statue of Our Lady in Chelsea: announcment

Briefing and comment: the project to establish a memorial to the burning of the great pilgrimage images of Our Lady is a laudable one. It is more than a pity, however, that the image of Our Lady which is planned will not be in the iconographic tradition of the ones destroyed but, judging from the model, in the tradition of ugly realism which is totally opposed to it. Secularism has triumphed even in this attempt to make reparation for a crime against the cult of Our Lady. See the full Catholic Herald article and an untrimmed picture here; the previous post on this project here.

From CFNews: Plans have been unveiled for a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary to stand in London in reparation for the destruction of the medieval Catholic shrines during the Reformation. The work will be called 'Mary Most Holy' and will stand on land alongside the River Thames at Chelsea's Embankment Gardens that was once owned by St Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor who was beheaded in 1535. It has been commissioned by the Art and Reconciliation Trust, a charity set up to promote awareness of the negative affects iconoclasm can have on culture. It will cost in the region of £1.25 million.

The sculptor is Paul Day, who at unveiling a model for the sculpture at the Charterhouse in London last week, that its purpose would be 'to recall events in Chelsea's local history that were of national importance and whose effects can still be powerfully felt in present day Britain. The destruction of England's medieval shrines and devotional images, conducted by Thomas Cromwell, was part of Henry VIII's programme for reform,' he said. 'In the summer of 1538 Cromwell was ensconced at Chelsea Manor to conduct his affairs because of an outbreak of the plague in central London. From there, he ordered the most important Marian shrines in England be brought to Chelsea so that he could witness their destruction. The dissolution of the monasteries and destruction of popular pilgrimage sites heralded an end to the traditional expression of Christianity as passed down through the Middle Ages in England and Wales. 'It is therefore hoped that this sculpture may be sited on or near to the location where the foremost Marian shrines were burnt.' [Catholic Herald]

1 comment:

Catrin Edwards said...

The statue of Our Lady and Jesus rising out of the ashes is beautiful and poignant. I remember when this image appeared in the Catholic press, and I cut it out to go on my fridge. I found it deeply moving. When I first read this, I thought you meant something akin to a dreadful "work of art" some years ago when our lady was draped in a condom. Now that was bad!

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen