This past weekend Steven, daughter Laura, and I attended eleven o’clock Mass at
St. Anselm Church in Madisonville, Louisiana.
Saint in red
“It must be St. Anthony. He’s holding a loaf of bread,” Steven said.
“No. St. Anthony’s over there,” I said, motioning to him across from where we stood.
As I took photos after Mass, a family waited in the back by the baptismal font as other parishioners visited out in the vestibule.
“Did you see the fish?” Steven called out to where I stood by the stations of the cross.
I looked all around.
“Look!” Steven pointed.
I still didn’t get it.
“At the ceiling,” Steven and Laura said in unison.
“Oh, wow!” There it was, reminiscent of both Jonah and Geppetto. The fish was so big that I had to get as far back as I could, really close to the wall, to take a diagonal shot of all but the fish’s tail.
Stations of the cross
On the drive back home, I reviewed the photos in my Coolpix and reflected on the stations of the cross.
How unusual to see them all together on one wall! Such bold colors. Such distinct faces: dark with despair, pained, modern yet old world. The stations have a strong French influence with a lingering mix of something else, too.
“New Orleans comes to mind,” I told Steven, who noted the Creole influence.
“They definitely have a Caribbean flavor. They’re very different.”
I wish I’d spoken with someone at St. Anselm’s to learn more, but I’ll have to wait till we return for another visit with Steven’s older brother, Eddie, and his wife, Pat.
Yesterday I emailed one of the church secretaries about the nameless statue in red. I didn’t recognize it as a depiction of St. Anselm, so I’ll be glad to find out who the saint is.
In the meantime, I’ll continue my online searches as I ponder all sorts of questions about St. Anselm Church.
March 25, 2016
I never heard back from St. Anselm’s, so I never learned who the saint in red was supposed to be. But, working with the photos I took at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church this past weekend, I had an epiphany: St. Francis is pictured holding a book! With a red cover, no less!
Makes sense to me, but the red-clad statue is holding a loaf of bread, which could only be a reference to St. Anthony’s bread. But why would a parish have two very similar statues of St. Anthony within its church walls?
I know, I know. I’m back to square one. Still, I’d like to think that the statue in red could be St. Francis.
And maybe the sculptor got confused and added the bread loaf by mistake? Certainly, a lot of implications come to mind. I’m open to ideas. Anyone?
Links of interest… Mother Henriette Delille: about / book review / controversy / foundress / grave marker / misidentification / nun / venerable… Our Lady… St. Anselm: about / doctor / meditations (c. 1070-1080; free ebook) / prayer / spirituality / theologian… St. Anselm Church: patron saint / website… St. Anthony: about / bread… St. Joseph… St. Jude… Stations of the cross: audio / for families / printables… Symbols of the saints in art…