|Rogers Park neighborhood|
|stained glass window of the Presentation|
Ever since that day I was determined to return and get a more in-depth view of the church, so last May when we made another visit to St. Joseph's College Seminary, my husband Paul and I took a leisurely walk through the neighborhood and found that the church doors were open in the middle of a weekday. We wandered in and caught the end of a tour given to school children. During this brief visit I fell in love with St. Ignatius Church, and eagerly looked forward to my next visit.
One of the things that I was eager to learn more about was a painting of the crucified Christ that was surrounded by silver medals hearts. Kathy explained that St. Ignatius has a large Peruvian population and the painting is part of a Peruvian tradition called The Lord of the Miracles. According to Peter Holderness at Medill Reports Chicago, "The original Lord of the Miracles is an icon painted by an African slave who was converted to Christianity by Spanish authority in Peru in the 16th century.
The mural depicts a dark-skinned Jesus on the cross, and is also known as Jesús Moreno. When successive earthquakes destroyed Lima in the 17th and 18th centuries, the mural survived and a growing number of Spaniards and mestizos joined Afro-Peruvians in revering the image.
Lima’s citizens sought the icon’s protection from deadly earthquakes, and it became an intimate part of their daily lives, according to Paerregaard, who writes that a Peruvian immigrant in Europe explained, “El Señor always accompanies us, we just have to bring his image with us and take it to the streets wherever we are.”
There is a wonderful pictorial slide show of the 2007 Chicago procession of Peruvian-Americans from St Ignatius Church taking The Lord of the Miracles into the streets at this link.
|Lord of the Miracles Procession in Lima, Peru|
Another highlight of the church was a relief on the altar of Christ, the Blessed Mother and St. James. Our guide wasn't sure why St. James was chosen to grace the altar at St. Ignatius but she did know that Archbishop Listecki had chosen this relief so it may be a good future topic of conversation with the Archbishop, trying to learn the secret of the relief's portrayal. Last spring when Archbishop Listecki confirmed my son Justin, he spent a great deal of time questioning each confirmand about their choices of saint's names. If any young man had chosen St. James for his confirmation name, the Archbishop was sure to ask him "Which St. James, the greater or the lesser?" Now I will have to ask that same question of the Archbishop!
|the altar at St. Ignatius|
|The Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Angels Chapel|
|The Sixth Station, Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus|