St. Anselm Church

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This past weekend Steven, daughter Laura, and I attended eleven o’clock Mass at
St. Anselm Church in Madisonville, Louisiana.

Saint in red

StAC52211-16StAC52211-150On entering church, I noticed the statue in red on the left.

“Who’s that?”

“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.

The fish

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.

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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.”

Questions

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.

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St. Anselm’s prayer

O Lord, my God, teach my heart this day where and how to see you, where and how to find you.  You have made me and remade me; you have bestowed on me all the good things I possess and, still, I do not know you.  I have not yet done that for which I was made.  Teach me to seek you, for I cannot seek you unless you teach me or find you unless you show yourself to me.  Let me seek you in my desire; let me desire you in my seeking.  Let me find you by loving you; let me love you when I find you.  Amen.

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! 

OLG31916-73aSo?  Red vestment, red book, both Franciscan.  Might the statue in red be St. Francis?

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?

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Pdf file…  Stations of the cross: 1-7 / 8-14

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…  When it’s hard to pray

WP posts…  Living one’s gifts…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  Picturing God…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Joseph…  St. Jude novena

2 Responses

  1. Lovely post!!!

    Fantastic photos which I really do love. Those last 14 pictures are reminding me from those which are in use in Orthodox churches. Icons. This you can see if you check, for example, my post on the Monastery of New Valamo.

    I am really glad that I had possibility to admire your photos. You made my day!

    • Dear Matti,

      WP’s big change in posting required LOTS of time and effort from me last night. I spent many hours uploading the photos from our weekend trip. I was so tired and frustrated that I just had to walk away knowing I’d have to finish the post today.

      This morning I saw your message before Steven left for the office.

      “Matti from Finland left me a comment! Matti loved the photos from St. Anselm’s!”

      I was sooo happy! Thank you for making my day!

      Your photos are amazing, stunning, and oh-so unique. I love your work, so I’ll most definitely check your post on the monastery!

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