Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Peace Amid Congestion

St. Francis of Assisi(7/27/12)?
During one of our days in Boston we did the common touristy thing of simply walking some of the streets, specifically the narrow side streets of the North End. During this time we saw many historical (The Paul Revere House) and cultural (Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street), and among the most moving was the statuary/garden outside the Saint Leonard of Port Maurice Church in Boston's North End. The question mark after the caption above is intentional. One thing I did a poor job of doing while there is writing down who each statue was of: the final picture on this post was the only one I was able to track down online. It is my understanding that Saint Leonard's is run by Franciscan friars so I'm hoping my caption above is accurate. (if someone knows otherwise, please let me know.)

The Blessed Virgin Mary (7/27/12).
The North End is Boston's oldest residential community, where people have lived continuously since it was settled in the 1630s, it is North Square area was known as Little Italy. It therefore makes sense that there would be a strong Catholic presence and the Port Maurice Church Garden is reflective of that. While not the much more frequented (and touristy) Old North Church (which I unfortunately did not take the opportunity to see), there was a serene calmness to be experienced here.

Statue of Blessed Padre Pio (7/27/12).
A likely byproduct of a lifetime of Catholicism, I can't help but find something meditative in the silence of a statuary, especially one in the heart of such a vibrant metropolitan area. After stopping by Mike's Pastry for a cannoli, we happened to wander into the garden, and found ourselves lingering for a few minutes as we took in the various saintly statues. For some reason, we never made it into the church (or the adjoining Gift Shop for that matter) though I understand it to be similarly "Old World" in its presentation.

Sometimes in Catholicism, as in many things, a little taste is enough to maintain the spirit...

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