Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the best-loved places in the Cathedral. The Chapel, which dates from 1994, was designed by architect Susan Jones. The dark floor, the rich, warm tones of the wall, and the light of dozens of beeswax candles create an intimate place where the faithful kneel at the feet of Mary, who is Christ’s mother and ours.
The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus is inspired by a 15th-century image from the monastery church of Blaubeuren in Germany. Jesus holds an apple, a reminder of the fall of Adam and Eve. Jesus, the new Adam, offers grace and life.
On the ceiling of this shrine are gold stars. The star is a traditional emblem of Mary, who is called “Star of the sea.” These stars have another significance, however: they are an accurate star-map of the night sky over the Cathedral on the night of its rededication, December 22, 1994.