Statues — Our Lady of Grace Church, West Sacramento

There are several statues carefully incorporated into the spare design of the nave so as to add to the whole experience rather than stand on their own. Three of the statues are of titles of the Blessed Mother.

Pictured here are a few of the most beautiful statues including, in the corner to the right of the sanctuary, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Grace. The larger-than-life image is dressed in a robin’s egg-blue cape over a gray tunic. Our Lady, ever-humble, has eyes and face turned downward as she opens her hands in welcome for her motherly love; and allows her grace to pour forth for the faithful

On the left side-wall is a beautiful image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel dressed in the soil-brown colors of the Carmelite Order, with a white overgarment. She is adorned with a golden crown and a large floral halo behind her head as she holds a happy baby Jesus in her left arm. Her right hand holds the familiar Brown Scapular that Carmelite tradition holds was given to Saint Simon Stock by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Also present is a large Rosary draped from the hands of Baby Jesus. The statue stands atop a lovely gold gilded pedestal with ornate decorative carving of a lion’s face, floral leaves and scrolls. A medallion with an image of Mary and Jesus surrounded by the words, “Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Pray for Us” is placed at the base of the statue.

Just below the statue of Our Lady of Grace is a colorful rendition of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. The bas relief image is embellished with bright primary colors of red, blue, green and yellow within an ornately carved wide light-colored wood frame. The contemporary image includes most of the traditional features seen in the ancient icon with some artistic interpretations. Our Mother’s tilted head with eyes gazing downward conveys the intensity of her assistance, as she holds the Child Jesus who is looking at the angel overhead. The archangels overhead (Michael on the left and Gabriel on the right) float in bright colors of blue, red and white, but without the Greek letters of “OAP” and “OAPM” which identify their names. Our Mother is surrounded by a wide halo of silver which radiates the divine light from a red background as did the golden background of the original icon. This more modern version of the ancient icon continues to show us the way to Christ through His Mother, as the Prophet Isaiah wrote 700 years before Christ, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.” (Is. 7:14). Emmanuel means “God with us”. The original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is thought to have been created on wood sometime between 1325 and 1480 likely on the Greek island of Crete. It eventually made it to Rome under the care of the Congregation of the Redemptorists founded by Saint Alphonsus Liguori and is now venerated worldwide. At Our Lady of Grace Church, the shrine is frequently visited by parishioners offering prayers and supplications; and special devotions are held each Wednesday evening in the church in Our Mother’s honor.

In the rear of the church (western end), centered over the aisle is a regal image of the Infant Jesus who wears a royal golden cape embellished with images of flowers, vines, and fleurs de lis. He wears a dark-colored crown covered with golden gilding and holds an image of the Earth as protector and King in His left hand. His right hand is raised in blessing while holding a short set of prayer beads. The statue stands on an ornate pedestal with a pointed-arch frame in front of an embroidered background of gold stars, wheat stalks and crowns. This beautiful image is clearly modeled after the Infant Jesus of Prague statue that originated in Spain sometime in the second half of the 16th century or earlier. The image eventually made it to Prague (now Czech Republic) where it was venerated particularly by the Discalced Carmelites and miracles and blessings occurred under the intercession of Infant Jesus. Over the centuries, the statue was damaged, restored and lost (and found) several times, for example during the Saxon invasion in the mid-1600’s and during the Nazi and communist occupations of Prague in the 20th century; but has never lost is appeal or its miraculous attributes. The image is now venerated the world over.

In addition to Europe, the Americas and India, a special devotion exists for the image of the Infant Jesus in the Philippines where He is called Santo Nino de Cebu or Sto. Nino (The Holy Child of Cebu, or Baby Jesus). In Cebu, Philippines, the Infant Jesus is honored each January during the Sinulog Festival, one of the most popular celebrations in the country. The Sinulog Festival, fills Cebu with devotees who celebrate for up to two weeks before the Feast Day occurring on the third Sunday in January. The celebration includes secular, as well as sacred events such as parades, contests, dancing, singing and many Masses including the culminating Mass at The Minor Basilica of the Santo Nino which houses the original Infant Jesus image brought to Cebu in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan.

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