Tuesday, March 01, 2011

St. Roch Shrine - New Orleans

This is a statue of Saint Lucy in the Shrine of Saint Roch.  You know it is Saint Lucy, not because of the clown on her arm but because of her eyes in the dish.  She was martyred by having her eyes removed.

This is St. Roch:
Saint Roch is the patron of plague victims.  A local priest promised St. Roch that he would build a chapel to the saint if he spared New Orleans from the current yellow fever epidemic.  The populace was spared and the priest build his chapel.
Since then, people have prayed to St. Roch in this chapel to cure them of various ailments.  Saint Lucy, too.  In appreciation, they have left momentos.  Let's look behind St. Lucy's head in the small room off the side of the chapel, shall we...
That's some kind of immobilization device that, I assume, is designed to keep bandages off the surface of a burn victim's face.  Furthermore:
There are plaster casts hung on the wall to represent organs and limbs healed by St. Roch.

There is an extensive collection of dusty crutches and leg braces...
And then there is the floor of the place, tiled over with gratitude:
A closer look...

There's more, much more.  For a small chapel, there are plenty of things to inspire piety, a sense of mystery, disgust, bemusement, and food for thought and faith.  A powerful place, indeed, that is far off most tourists' maps.  St. Roch's Cemetery is pure New Orleans, part of the weft and woof of the city, important to the people who live here.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails