All images are copyright © 2008-2013 Russ Martin,
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shrine of the Holy Relics (On the Grounds Winter)

There is plenty to see outside the Maria Stein Center which houses the Shrine of the Holy Relics. Enough so that this post hardly covers it all.

Pictured here is the Lourdes Grotto located between the Chapel and the Courtyard.

The tribute refers to the Marian apparition that is reported to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France in a grotto in the late 1850's.

The Sacred Heart grotto offers an outdoor setting for prayer and contemplation. Though I would think that only the truly brave would do so in this winter snow.

Nestled in the Statue Garden is a new monument in memory of all children who have died. Called the Angel Garden, the 9 foot granite stoned memorial was dedicated in October 2007.
I have taken several pictures on numerous visits of this wonderful monument and feel that I have yet to capture it properly. I hope someday to feature it in its own post when I do.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Adoration Chapel (Shrine of the Holy Relics - Part II)

Out side the Relic Chapel is the larger Adoration Chapel. This chapel is not much different than what you would find in any Catholic church. Pictured here you can see the main and both side altars.

Shortly before I had arrived the sisters had been praying with someone with cancer with the relic of St. Peregrine Laziosi. The relic had been replaced when I took this picture, but this is the small statue of St. Peregrine. Notice the exposed bandage on his leg that was healed from cancer. Unfortunately I didn't get a very good picture but it's not likely that I would get a chance to re-shoot it.

There are two murals, pictured above the one on the ceiling and below on one of the walls.

The stations of the cross are paintings and some are in need of repair/restoration. If you look closely at this one you can see damage in both left corners.

I don't think this series is one of my better ones, but I did like this Crucifix shot.

The Chapel in the Woods

While surfing the net looking for other people's pictures of the Cross Tipped Churches, I stumbled upon a rather unusual one of a relief of Purgatory. And much to my surprise it was taken at a place I had already been many times, and not once I had I seen or heard anything about a chapel in the woods.

So I had to revisit the Maria Stein Center to find just where this was. When they told me you could of knocked me over with a feather. I had been by it many times in my walk a bouts but thought it was a playhouse for children because of its diminutive size and proximity to a play ground.

According to the sisters it had not always been a chapel. It was first used by the sisters to process maple sap and was called the Sugar House. What I found inside was this simple but amazing altar. I was touched to see the tokens of thanks and petitions for prayer. .

The chapel even had a complete set of The Stations of the Cross. These were hand carved wood reliefs with a hint of stain for color.

This relief of Purgatory looks even more distressed than it did in the photo I saw on the Internet. Being at ground level and open to the elements it has seen its share of abuse. The whole subject of Purgatory is a fascinating one and one I plan to explore further.

If I can ever find the time, I think I would like to see if I could restore the look of this in PhotoShop. Just what I need another project.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Relic Chapel Stained Glass Windows

There are four stained glass windows in the Relic Chapel, located at the Shrine of the Holy Relics. The windows were imported form Munich Germany. This first one is St. Francis Xavier He is sometimes picture with St. Ignatius Loyola who convinced him to use his talents to spread the Gospel.

In his left hand he holds a cross, I am not sure what he is holding in his right. The detail in these windows is remarkable. Here is a close up so you can see the detail in the beard and fingernails.

The next window is Joseph, Mary and Jesus

This window of St. Kunigunda shows her holding a church, symbolic of the many churches and hospitals she helped found.

Here is a close up of her holding the church.

Once again the detail is just stunning.

This last stained glass window is Saint Rose of Lima.

Here is a close up of her as well. At first glance I completely missed the crown of thorns.
I found it fascinating the she was so devout about her faith and her oath of chastity that she used pepper and lye to ruin her complexion so she would not be attractive.

As always I enjoyed my stay and exploration at the Shrine of the Holy Relics. If you are ever in the area this is a must stop and see.

Related Links:
Fish Eaters (Symbols of the Saints in Art)
Saints SQPN
Catholic.Org (Saints)
Maria Stein Center

These were taken hand held with my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens at F/5.6 1/60 ISO 400.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

To Jesus and the Cross

To Jesus and the Cross

The love of God fell to the ground and died,
but from that brokenness, new love has grown
because that seed could not abide alone,
and now so many in Christ's life abide
that many more unreached can now decide
if we go where the Gospel is unknown
and show them how our love is not our own,
but is our Savior's, for we are His Bride.

Our love shall fall into the ground and die
when we believe on Jesus, count the cost,
and be to every ear and every eye
a witness of the Gospel to the lost
so when they see our love and ask us why,
we can lead them to Jesus and the Cross.

Sonnet / Poem by
 ~ Michael Rew

Cemetery Crucifix 
St's Peter and Paul Church
Newport  Ohio

Lovest Thou Me? I Hear My Saviour Say

Lovest thou Me? I hear my Saviour Say

"Lovest thou Me?" I hear my Saviour say;
Would that my heart had power to answer "Yea,"
Thou knowest all things, Lord, in heaven above,
And earth beneath; Thou knowest that I love."

But 'tis not so; in word, in deed, in thought,
I do not, cannot love Thee as I ought;
Thy love must give that power, Thy love alone;
There's nothing worthy of Thee but Thine own.

Lord, with the love wherewith Thou lovest me,
Reflected on Thyself, I would love Thee;
Thence on my brethren shed, might it be seen
By all around, that I with Thee had been.

Author James Montgomery

50 Foot Cross and Reflection Pool
Maria Stein Spiritual Center

Original Post 1/22/09

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

St. Nicholas (Osgood Oh.)

I took these quite sometime ago. I do not think the church was open at the time I was there. It's located just south of Maria Stein.

The church is considered to be part of The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches.

This is a pretty nice shot of the steeple.

I took these one day while exploring the byway. I had never been to Osgood before that day. Funny how we tend to not branch out and explore the world around us once we get settled into the routines of life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Holy Trinity Catholic Church (Indiana)

There is one church designated as in The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches that is not in Ohio. It is located just a few miles west of the border as you follow State Rt 29 which turns into 67 when you reach Indiana. The Holy Trinity Catholic Church is what you will find if you follow this path. As you can see, I got my wish for some snow pictures. The dusting of the bushes and trees make for a nice effect.

Unlike most of my outings, this one was not a picture one. This was one of those I will stop and take a look on my way to another destination. As luck would have it, it was on the way, but I could not spend the amount of time I would have liked.
Unfortunately because of my limited time, my creativity was very limited so these are just the basic shots. The stations of the cross were paintings and labeled in German. Here is a complete picture of one. followed by a close up of another. These are either fairly new or very well preserved/taken care of. They look like new compared to some of the other paintings of the Stations I've seen
The main altar pictured here is a lovely ornate dark wood.

Here is a closeup of the crucifix on the altar.

Above this is a relief of the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Off all the stained glass windows the one above the entrance was my favorite

This one located in the balcony was the most unusual that I have found.

It was a short but a great picture shoot. This is just a small sampling of the picture opportunities that this church affords. It is well worth the extra mile or two if you made it as far as St. Anthony on your tour. I hope to someday have the time to come back and take more pictures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Maria Stein Heritage Museum

The Maria Stein Heritage Museum and Shrine of the Holy Relics are all housed in the same building. The museum is located on the second floor. Opened in 1982, the museum was designed to preserve and display the culture of the early pioneers of southern Auglaize and Mercer counties in Ohio.

The settlers were mostly German descent of Roman Catholic faith and are responsible for the numerous cross tipped spires in the area, creating what we now call "The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches". The displays are a remembrance to their way of life.

Along with a history of the area and Cross Tipped Churches, special attention is given the history of the Sisters of the Precious Blood and the contributions they made to the community.

The museum while not large is a wealth of information. I have found it an interesting way to spend the afternoon on more than one occasion.

Featured so far is a Wood Carved Interpretation of one of the Stations of the Cross. This is actually in a gallery separate from the museum and is 1 of 14 carvings. Porcelain Nuns having fun, one of just many on display. This one made me chuckle. A collection of rosary's and a moment of time captured in the form of a crucifix and pillow. Pictured left a crucifix hanging agains a nun's uniform from back in the day.

This is called a Passion Trophy. According to the placard it containes the elements found in the Passion of Christ. It reads as follows: "So called for the instruments of torture used during the passion of Jesus. The lantern used to find Jesus in the garden. The sword that cut off the servant's ear, The scourge, the dice used by the soldiers to cast lots for Jesus' tunic, the purple robe, the cock that crowed, the vessel with common wine, the sponge on a sprig of hyssop, the lance the pierced Jesus' heart, the ladder with which they took down Jesus' body."

There is plenty to see and do here and I highly recommend making it a stop if your ever in the area.

Related Links:
Click here to go to their WEB page

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shrine of the Holy Relics (Part 1 The Altar)

I had another great outing today, taking pictures at the Shrine of the Holy Relics in Maria Stein. What started out as a quick outing turned into an all afternoon affair. I took over 250 pictures, not all keepers but I did get quite a few good pictures. With so much to cover, Heritage Museum, Statue Garden, Main Sanctuary, Church in the woods, Shrine of the Holy Relics and more, it will take more than one post to cover it all. I am starting the first post with the Altar of the Shrine itself. The following is from their pamphlet.

"Founded in 1875, the National Marian Shrine of Holy Relics, with 1,000 authenticated relics on display, is the second largest collection of its type in the United States.

The primary display of relics is in an altar hand-carved especially for this purpose. Five beautiful stained-glass windows imported from Munich, Germany and hand-carved woodwork adorn the Relic Chapel.

Since 1846 the Sisters of the Precious Blood have been at Maria Stein praying with and for the many guests who bring their petitions and hopes. The reality of the Communion of Saints touches all who come to this holy place of peace and hospitality."

There is not much space to move around in when it comes to taking pictures, so I had to pretty much use my wide angle lens for most of the altar shots. There is also quite a bit of glare on the glass from the stained glass windows making some shots difficult. With all the pictures I took, I some how missed getting a close up of the two side carved statues on the main altar. Another good excuse for a return trip.

On my first visit I used Black and White film. On this trip I used digital. Look for more post in the near future for more pictures.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

St. Joseph Wapakoneta

St. Joseph in Wapakoneta is a huge church and I can't wait for a chance to see it on the inside. These are from a night shoot, so no inside pictures were taken. I actually took more pictures of the downtown and will post those in my Photo Blog Think Focus Click later.
We had just got our first snow of the year and I was hoping to get some good snow shots. This statue of Joseph and Jesus did not disappoint.

Related Links:
Click here for more night shots
Click here for a brief history