Saturday, May 18, 2013

Yesterday we headed back to Maryland to finish our kayak trip.  On the way there we spotted this beautiful college campus and a tall statue in the distance and had to check them out.  Come to find out we discovered a very famous old Catholic college and holy place in the mountains.  I am not Catholic so I may be pronouncing or saying things wrong, but bear with me.  

Mount St. Mary's University, also known as The Mount, is a private Catholic university in the  near Emmitsburg, Maryland. It was founded by French émigré Father John DuBois in 1808 and is the oldest independent Catholic college in the United States. (It is the second oldest Catholic college in the United States, after Georgetown.)  It is in a rural setting and the campus is so beautiful.  
 In 1805, DuBois laid the cornerstone for a church Saint-Mary's-on-the-Hill and bought land with the intention of constructing a school.   In 1809, Pigeon Hall, a seminary of the French Society of St. Sulpice was transferred to Emmitsburg and marked the beginning of higher education at Mount St. Mary. In the same year, Elizabeth Ann Seton, saint  and founder of the Sisters of Charity, came to the Mount. She attended Mass there until her death in 1821.

The large shiny statue is part of the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, the oldest known replica of the revered French shrine dating to about 1875.
   This is atop the new bell tower at the new visitor center.

This place was so peaceful and the art that lined your way was so grand and the gardens were beautiful.  You must stop if you pass thru this way.  It was well worth the stop and we may even come back if time permits. 
  The first thing that struck me was the beautiful gardens and surrounding woods and how very peaceful and restful they are.
Bush afar

   Flower close up

  The day was perfect and so were our surroundings.  

The art work was so fabulous too to add to the beauty of the place. 
   There were bronze "pictures" telling the story of Jesus' last days.


   This is how each of the bronze pictures were presented on you walk in the garden.


   Mosaics of Mary
   These were very hard to photograph because they were under glass and the glare was so great.  They are unbelievably beautiful.

   There were statues everywhere too and so very beautiful.  I thought I had taken more than I did.  I guess I was too busy looking. 

   This one is in the middle of a large pool of water near the top of the Grotto
   Water fountain.  They also had bigger fountainsThey had signs for no bathing or removal of clothing.  I am not sure if the water may have "special powers" or just good tasting.  They may have allowed submersion back in the day, but with the way the health dept. is now all over it and it is not allowed now.  They do allow filling of jugs.  We had a big healthy drink and it was very tasty.   

  This is the statue of Sister Seton.  It is located at the back of the small chapel near the Grotto. 

  This is the front of the chapel.  The Grotto is just behind this and the pool and water fountains are located where were are standing to take this pic.  Isn't it just beautiful!!!


   They also had stain glass art here too.  This is Sister Seton.

   The doors to the chapel.

From the web:

Above the lovely valley of Emmitsburg, situated high on the Mountainside, where nature displays itself in all its wild and picturesque glory, sits the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes, a shrine which traces its linage to the very beginnings of the spread of Catholicism in America.  
Indelibly linked with Saint Elizabeth Seton, the Shrine is one of the oldest American replicas of the revered French shrine, dating to about two decades after the apparitions at Lourdes (1875), although the site had already been in use for more than seventy years as a place of prayer and devotion.
This holy mountain sanctuary of historic importance has been devoutly tended thought the years and attracts thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world for prayer and meditation.  It has been a place of religious sanctuary for years and years, and like its French originator, it has attracted not only the spiritual but scholars from Universities and accredited online colleges alike. It is places like these that we should always cherish and protect.

You must research thisWhen I did I learned so much and it was very interesting.  I do not want to bore you with the details, but it was good information.

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