Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Stop in South Dakota

A Virgin a Day
Day 6, December 6, 2012

A Virgin a Day has been going on since December 1st and will culminate with the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th. This is the third year that I have made contributions to this project. Since I’m on the road and have limited time and access to my files and the computer, I have not been able to participate every day, but I do have a post for Day 6.

Please check out other offerings of beautiful artwork and adoration of the Blessed Virgin Mother at Rebecca’s recuerda mi corazon blog.

I am in Tucson, Arizona and have been here all week. Mrs. Spadoman and I drove down here from Wisconsin. This  road trip is serving many purposes. A break for Mrs. Spadoman as she has been doing non-stop child care for our Grandchildren through the Summer and Fall and for me, since I have been strapped to the VA for most of the past few months recovering from a motorcycle accident. By the way, I still don't have any teeth.

We drove, so we could see the sights and enjoy some road time searching for lost diners and a decent cup of coffee. Amongst the things we look for are unique places to stop and stretch our legs from the long hours of getting 1800 miles in a short time. It might be a park or a small town museum. One of these places was the Fatima Family Shrine in Alexandria, South Dakota.

Personally, I love the artwork of the stained glass and the statues. Maybe it’s the idea of devotion and how people are unashamed to offer their images and ideas and share them with the public. Many of these Shrines are for the purpose of serving the people or an historic site or mission to inform.
These praying children looking on towards the Shrine seemed to intrigue me

This particular site is connected to a Catholic Church in this small town, not far, just 15 miles or so, from the famous Corn Palace of Mitchell, SD. We had seen the Corn Palace many times, but have never seen this Fatima Family Shrine before on our travels.

Our Lady of Fatima, the image of the Virgin Mother, as she appeared to shepherd children in the village of Fatima, Portugal in 1917,  has been around since 1208 AD in the same city as Our Lady of the Rosary. Read the historical account Here on Wikipedia. 

This Shrine is specifically for families, for their strength, existence and longevity. Statues in this simple but beautifully landscaped courtyard contain images of Jesus Christ along with other Saints, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph and Michael the ArchAngel. The idea is that to have Peace, we must have strong devoted families that honor and worship the ideas that these Saints stand for.

I took some photos. I love the artwork. It always intrigues me that stained glass that sits exposed to the elements here in tornado and strong thunderstorm country never seem to get damaged by the forces of nature. I’m sure it happens, but I’ve never seen damage or have heard of it being reported when I visit these sights.

The Fatima Family Shrine sits on the property of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. You can read more about it HERE.


My friends. Time and equipment are making it hard for me to visit every contribution and comment on all of your beautiful "A Virgin a Day" posts. I am doing some browsing and seeing so many fantastic posts for this project. Please forgive me for not being as visible as I have in the past while we are on the road. I sincerely Thank You all for the attention you have paid to the Round Circle blog.


rebecca said...

dear spadoman,

always lovely to have you appear among the many heartfelt offerings as we honor the heart of mary.

you asked about the outdoor installations of stained glass and how they stand up to the test of time. this particular type of glass work predates the lead and copper foil techniques we associate with stained glass today. thick cast glass is flinted as one might flint nap a stone in the making of an arrowhead. the glass is 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick so quite strong to wind and weather. the thickness allows for the flint napping of the edges, which creates varying tones of the colour. the un flinted surface will be the deepest hue, the flinted edges creating varies light tones depending on how much one chips away at the edges. the armature for these glass pieces is actually cast concrete. if you think of all the rose windows in the oldest cathedrals in europe you will see the amazing skill and beauty of this same cast glass, the difference being the armatures pre date the idea of casting with concrete and are all carved stone.

gorgeous offering! i hope you are both resting and renewing as you share some well deserved time away.

Delphyne said...

Spadoman, what a beautiful post! I love that first picture of Mary.

Your road trips are always so interesting - thank you for sharing them.

PS to Rebecca - thank you for explaining the stained glass. It would be wonderful to take classes from you. You have the Gemini gift for teaching, communicating.

carol l mckenna said...

You are one enlightened man ~ delightful sharing of 'Mary' and your road trips ~ blessings to you ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Dawn Elliott said...

I think that it's wonderful that you can post anything at all while on the road! What a wonderful offering you served up today...a place that fits in perfectly with our theme, one that most of us may never see in person. Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm delighted to hear that you're back on the road and finding little quiet places to learn and rest. Having grown up in Tucson, I know that this is the magical time of year in the desert...and that Tucson has great mojo. Sorry about your teeth...that must be a major disability and budren, yet no doubt you're learning a lot about human nature, hmm?
Thank you for taking part when you can...always a pleasure to share in your wisdom.

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Wow-love that shrine and the children praying is such a powerful image! It says a lot about faith.
No teeth! Sigh....I'll bet you can't wait to have some again. It must be different to eat.

GlorV1 said...

Enjoyed your road trip and loved your Mary images. Just beautiful. Thank you. Hope you are doing well.

Hettienne Grobler said...

I love and appreciate the sentiment that people unashamedly offer their devotion - a bit like blogging, isn't it? I hope that you will have teeth soon. enjoy your road trip with the Mrs!

Lenora said...

your road trip becomes ours! enjoyed the tour!

Meri said...

So happy you were able to post today, Joe. I also believe that a strong foundation of love in children, from parents who model love, patience, encouragement, collaboration, compassion, and acceptance, is essential to the building of peace. Peace begins within. Each of us must build its foundation in ourselves, particularly if we were short-changed in childhood.

Priti Lisa said...

Sounds like you are on another honeymoon Joe.I was thinking of all of the wonderful things you can eat without teeth...applesauce, mashed potatoes, yogurt... definitely not gummibears, but they aren't good for you anyway.
I always enjoy seeing the world through your eyes!♥

J C said...

I especially like that photo of the statue with the stained glass behind it. It's beautiful. Safe travels to you both.

Unknown said...

Joe, good to see you here. I haven't been doing much on the Internet lately so didn't realize you had been in a motorcycle accident. This, on top of your heart recuperation--but I take comfort in the fact that you are road tripping so you must be healing. I love when I find obscure sacred sites like you have found this one. Very beautiful and that was an insightful comment about stained glass being seemingly impervous to bad weather.

gma said...

Welcome to Arizona. Hope you are loving our weather. Have you been to San Xavier del Bac? Just south of Tuscon. They have a beautiful native American mass and lovely old adobe altar and folkart shrines and icons. Enjoy PEACE

Mel said...

Wow..... Now there was one powerful rest-stop. And I truly appreciate the lesson rebecca offered up on the stained glass armatures. Wandering old cathedrals in England wowed me for a number of reasons, that stained glass was a huge bit of the 'wow' factor. It's amazing to me how they've stood the test of some very turbulent times. Even more amazing at how they've been so cherished and personally cared for during horribly difficult times.
This little gem of a spot is a prime example of why I turn off at some very odd places and tend to avoid the mainstreams.
I adore the praying children--it touches my heart that the Bug prays so unabashedly and sincerely. Kids rock--they love completely and without conditions, yaknow?

*shrugs* Teeth are optional. And it's not been an all bad thing, the changes in diet. They'll happen when healing allows 'em to.
(this is the same thing I tell the sister who's been operating without 'em for a bit herself!) Keep traveling safely!! And let us know who wins the bath tub Mary contest, eh? ;-)

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Our Lady's peace to you, my on-the-road friend! (Tucson is not so very far away from my present digs.)

Mary of the Tombs

Laura said...

so beautiful... I love the stained glass too... and the idea of all of the prayers surrounding each madonna... each shrine... one can feel the love even in the images from around the world online. This is not my spiritual practice, still it does not matter, love and blessings are universal.

Lea said...

I too love seeing the world through your eyes, my dear Mr. SHM... When I see statues like these, I always think that if I just blink right, they will quiver awake and step down from the stands they are on and walk the earth... I love learning about the devotion of others and how it takes shape for us to share.