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Local Shrine is a Place of Inspiration, Peace and Serenity

STOCKBRIDGE – Sometimes a quest for peace, quiet, and inspiration can be found almost as close as one’s own backyard.[media-credit id=3 align=”alignright” width=”225″][/media-credit]

Berkshire residents can enjoy 350 acres of beautiful lawns, trees and 50 breathtaking life-sized bronze sculptures depicting the passion of Jesus Christ, at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.

Across from the famous Red Lion Inn, the Roman Catholic shrine is located at 2 Prospect Hill Road. It has been a ministry of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception since being purchased and established in 1943.[media-credit id=3 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]

People from all over the world have traveled to Stockbridge to go to the shrine.Thousands flock to pilgrimages held throughout the year on the manicured lawns of what is called Eden Hill.

There’s a chapel on the grounds where daily Mass is said. 

People also go to the chapel throughout the day to sit and pray in silence. It’s quite a contrast to the usually noisy and stress-filled world!

Visitors often pause to snap pictures of the ornate altar, decorative ceiling and colorful stained glass above the entryway.

A well stocked gift shop provides a huge variety of  items such as spiritual books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, prayer cards and all kinds of gifts for new babies, First Holy Communion celebrations and so on.

It would be a great place to go for holiday gift items in December.[media-credit id=3 align=”alignleft” width=”225″][/media-credit]

Visitors to the shrine can also walk through the woods to the Lourdes candle grotto. Many light prayer candles for loved ones and then sit in silence on benches. The flickering candles add to the peace of the scene.

The most recent addition to The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy are 50 unforgettable life-sized bronze  sculptures replicating the stations of the cross.  They are the work of a Canadian sculptor, Timothy P. Schmalz. 

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The expressions on the figures are often poignant and detailed.According to a video on the Shrine’s online website, they are the only life-sized stations of the cross in New England.

In a newly revised “Way of the Cross,” one of the Marian Fathers’ hundreds of publications, Mr. Schmalz is quoted as saying, “It takes a great subject to create great art and there’s no greater subject matter than Jesus Christ.”

Indeed, the stations that depict Christ’s immense suffering by being nailed to a cross can evoke tears from onlookers.

Being outside, with the sky above and trees along a path, makes a visit to the life-sized stations quite impressive.

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The figures look so real and bring the message of the crucifixion to life right before one’s  eyes. A walk in silence along the winding path on which the stations are located will not be soon forgotten.

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Mr. Schmalz, on the website, said the sculptures are “visual prayers.”They also spread Christ’s message of Divine Mercy to the hundreds of visitors who come to Eden Hill.

Charlene and the late Tom Welch, Marian Helpers from Sudbury, provided the funds used to create the sculptures. Their granddaughter, Lauren Miller,assisted the sculptor with graphic images, according to the revised “Way of the Cross.”

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The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy website provides comprehensive and detailed information about every aspect of the shrine’s history and mission in the world.

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Imagine it being right here in the Berkshires, available to all who drive up Prospect Hill Road and enter a place of contemplation and deep peace that is a welcome change from the world beyond.




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Posted by on August 22, 2013. Filed under Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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