RELIGION   7 comments

I clearly remember the first time I saw this structure a few years ago, which is unlike anything else in the area. I thought it was so beautiful and unusual and wondered what it was doing in its location…… in the backyard of a church, kind of in the parking lot.  After awhile, I just got used to seeing it and never thought twice about it again.  While looking at the theme list, I came across ‘religion’ and thought about what I could use to fill it.  A church?  A synagogue?  Angel?  Well, I passed it again and immediately thought it would be perfect for the theme.  I decided to see if I could find out a little about it so I called the rectory.  Of course there’s a story behind it!!  I should have known something so unique would have one!

What I was able to find out is that the stones came from when the cliffs along The Palisades in Fort Lee, New Jersey were blasted out beginning in 1927 when work began on the construction of the George Washington Bridge.  There were many parishioners who worked on the site and they sometimes brought some of the stones and rocks back to the Village until the bridge was completed in 1931.  I’m not clear if their original plan was to build this or the idea just developed, but they built this Grotto of Our Lady of Fatima, a name given to the Virgin Mary after she reportedly appeared in apparitions to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, and gave them the THREE SECRETS OF FATIMA.  The church was founded in 1890 and the visions appeared to the children in 1917, only 10 years before work on the bridge was started, so it may have been their original plan from the beginning but, unfortunately, no one is around anymore to ask such a specific question.

People go there daily to pray and reflect.  They bring flowers and offerings and the upkeep and repairs are done by volunteers from the parish.

Isn’t that an amazing story?  Right in my own backyard (so to speak) and I didn’t even know about it!

Click here for a larger view


Posted December 8, 2012 by Madelaine in Photography by Madelaine Cappuccio

7 responses to “RELIGION

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  1. Lovely grotto!

  2. lovely! And, right down your backyard…

  3. The church my grandparents went to had similar garden your photo is wonderful and thanks for the memory.

  4. That is an interesting story!

    Dr. Pilar Ortega

  5. How beautiful.

  6. That’s so amazing, Madelaine. We actually visited the Our Lady of Fátima shrine when we went to Portugal a few years ago.

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