Silent Diamond Saints in Phoenix Arizona

“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I spent some time at the Saint Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix, Arizona.  In 1985, Pope John Paul II deemed the church – the first Catholic Church in Phoenix – to be a Minor Basilica.  I was unable to see the inside, as there was a funeral taking place, but was enchanted by the grounds itself.  I watched a woman, while clutching a rosary in her hand, stop at each of the three statues in the courtyard.  She would press her face against the face of each one, as if they were old friends sharing a secret, say a prayer and end with the sign of the cross.

As I was leaving she stopped me.  Opening her hand she showed me a little plastic heart-shaped “jewel,” like that a little girl might have on a bracelet, and asked me if I thought it was a real diamond.  It still had some of the glue on the back of it.  I wished I could have told her yes…..

St. Mary's Basilica, Phoenix Arizona - Jennifer Allison

St. Mary’s Basilica, Phoenix Arizona – Jennifer Allison

St. Mary's Basilica, Phoenix Arizona - Jennifer Allison

St. Mary’s Basilica, Phoenix Arizona – Jennifer Allison

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9 thoughts on “Silent Diamond Saints in Phoenix Arizona

    • I have been preparing to be a GRANDMOTHER so have been a bit delinquent in my posts and messages. Such a surreal experience. I am getting away next weekend to New Orleans and expect many photo opportunities. I hope you are well and cooking up many delectable recipes!

  1. I wonder if the real jewel was in the place itself, with such trees. Sometimes we’re looking up for gold in the wrong places. The woman could have been doing exactly that.

    Loved the vignette plus photos. Wonder how the place looks when trees regain their foliage.

    • It is unfortunately the same place that the priest was killed in the chapel this past year.

      And yes, I believe that the real jewel was indeed the place itself. Religion or no, it’s a spiritual place.

      • I’d argue that the entire universe is a spiritual place, but I too, fortunately or unfortunately, wasn’t build strong enough to endure infinite discussions…

        The murder makes it even a more interesting place. Please tell if there’s any development to that story. Hopefully the priest wasn’t murdered out of sheer violent randomness. There must be a story behind all that. There must.

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