Exploring the Sacred
Beholding the Sacred
This beautiful work is of Vert Corail Claire Marble against a retable of premiere red Levanto marble. The front of the altar is decorated with the monogram of the Blessed Virgin Mary with supporting angels. The tabernacle is decorated with a cross and the words Ego Sum Panis Vivus (I am the living bread). The background of the altar is inspired for the Mexican phase of the Spanish Renaissance and contains the large panels in the top center, the Assumption; at the base on the left, the Annunciation; over it, the Presentation at the Temple. The large central panel in the middle at the bottom represents the Nativity, while in the base at the right is the Flight into Egypt; over it is the Visitation. The flanking panels contain adoring and heralding angels and at the top, supported by angel figures, is the descending dove, emblematic of the Holy Spirit.
St. Joseph’s Altar
This altar is of Rose de Brignoles Marble against a background of Bois Jourdain Runbane Marble. The reredos is primarily inspired by the one in the Cathedral Church in Mexico City. The principal decorations are the two paintings by Emil Pollak-Ottendorff of Boston. The lower one represents the death of St. Joseph, at the top, St. Joseph with lilies and roses signifies St. Joseph as the Protector of the Church.
The two large statues are, on the left, St. Anne with the Child Mary, and on the right, St. Joachim. The nine high relief portraits are founders of various religious communities. Beginning with the one over St. Anne, they are: St. Benedict, St. Norbert, St. Simon Stock, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St. Paul of the Cross. The entire composition is crowned by an emblem with the monogram SJ.
Sacred Heart Shrine
The Sacred Heart Shrine is in the churrigueresque fashion. It has for its base French Rogue Antique Marble. The statue is of carved wood and polychromed. At the apex, supported by angels and crowned is a cartouche charged with the monogram “IHS,” the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek.
Miraculous Medal Shrine
This shrine is also in the apse, opposite the Sacred Heart. The scroll around Mary reads, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” The shrine pays homage to the Vincentian devotion to Mary of the Miraculous Medal, as she appeared to St. Catherine Labouré, a member of the Daughters of Charity, the religious community founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac.
The Baptistry walls are paneled in elaborately sculptured French walnut. A niche at one end contains a large panel carved and polychromed, representing the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. On the corresponding opposite wall is a window depicting Christ’s testimony concerning John the Baptist. Below the window is an elaborate desk and chest. The font is in Black Belgian Marble with a counterpoised canopy of bronze.
Holy Agony Chapel
The Holy Agony Chapel is paneled to the ceiling in carved French walnut with a panel depicting the Agony of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. Over this panel appears a chalice. The ceiling is decorated in color and gold leaf. In every Vincentian church, one will find a representation of the Holy Agony because it is a special devotion of the community.
Side Altars & Shrines
Saint Vincent de Paul