La Salette Shrine

Those of you who have been reading for a while are aware we had two very close family members pass away this year. At the end of last year, my wife and I took our kids to the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro.

For those who haven’t been there, there is a shrine where you can buy a candle, say a prayer, and leave the candle lit. My understanding is that the prayer is supposedly repeated for the duration of that flame’s life, though I may be wrong, it’s been a very long time since it was explained to me.

Outside of the shrine is a very large piece of land that includes a pond in the middle. Around the pond is a walkway that has the stations telling the story of Jesus, as they have in the Catholic churches, but on a much larger scale.

They decorate the entire grounds with lights around Christmas. It’s quite a spectacle. So many lights are lit, that it’s like walking around in the middle of the day.

Now, personally, I am not a very religious person, though I am very spiritual. I grew up Catholic. I was an alter boy for almost 10 years. However, I’ve always felt like my connection with god was a little more personal that I was taught. I’m not going to get into my whole view on religion, it’s one topic I’m usually very careful with, but I will say I am familiar with Catholicism, and I respect anyone’s right to follow whatever religion he or she chooses. I do not claim to know better, nor do I judge.

Anyway.

At the end of December, around the 26th I believe, we took a trip out to the shrine, brought along the kids and we met some friends out there. We walked the area, looked at lights, froze our butts off, had some hot chocolate. We into some areas where they had small scale models of whole cities and little figurines for sale, and it was really quite nice.

When we were done, my wife and I went into the shrine and bought a pair of candles. We lit them, and placed them in their glass holders next to each other, and we silently said our prayers. It was peaceful, serene, and comforting.

When we were done, we turned to leave and found our four year old blowing out the candles in the lowest row.

As a person who grew up Catholic, I nearly choked…

As a man of reason, I have to believe God has a sense of humor… I mean, just look at the platypus. I mean, know all about Egypt’s first born sons, and the great flood and all, but I think he mellowed with age, he was much nicer in the new testament.

As a father, I was rather disappointed in myself for not having seen that one coming. Was another “What are you, new?!” moments… and yes. yes she was.

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6 thoughts on “La Salette Shrine

  1. i know a similar place – fatima shrine in holliston. it was a very special place to me growing up and it comforts me still. the last time i was there was on the day of my mother’s funeral. i went there to walk the stations of the cross path – and to light a candle. i think you’re right about God and His sense of humor, particularly where small “new” people are involved. it could have been worse, you know. she could have sang happy birthday first.

  2. I was once at LaSalette with MY WIFE, my sister-in-law, and our two young nieces. We arrived before the lights had been lit for the night, on a day during the Christmas season. We were standing in the middle of the grounds when they came on, all at once. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. It was just… *BLAM*… and The Lord said, “Let there be light!” It was, truly, a phenomenal thing to see.

  3. Oh you bet, I laughed… After I made sure no one saw it, and re-lit the candles! I have to agree Michelle, that is definitely the quintessential “kid” thing to do in a room full of lit candles.

  4. Matt:My condolences on your losses.I had a similar experience in a small Catholic church in Arkansas, of all places…it was a very spiritual thing, although there was no one blowing out the candles (grin).Thank you for your kind comments on Irish Gumbo. I’m pleased to know that someone else experiences those moments. Thank you 🙂

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