Basilica Visit!

On the last day of our visit in the Valley, we visited the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan de Valle. I’ve been once before, but it was a long time ago, before we were married. It’s a very pretty church, and it made a nice, peaceful day trip in the morning before we left.

The Basilica has a large, outdoor Way of the Cross with statues at each station. We walked around the stations, since it was such a pretty day. This was GeekBaby’s first exposure to the Way of the Cross, and he was fascinated by the story told by the stations. So what does a three year old do?

This parade of spontaneous preschooler piety lasted until Station Eleven, the Crucifixion, which rather shocked him. This is the first year he’ll really be old enough to absorb the Easter story, and this makes me extra glad we went on the Way at the basilica. The little pictoral stations in most churchs lack the same impact.

Afterwards, we went into the Basilica, accidentally catching the last half of one of the daily Masses. At this point, he was restless and punkish, so after Mass and lighting candles at the shrine, GeekBaby went off to the bookstore with his abuelos and I stayed and got this picture of the interior.

Yes, I deliberately framed my shot to avoid most of the desert scene and big goofy banners decorating the sanctuary. Even with that goofiness, the basilica is really pretty. Prettier than I could capture with my little point and shoot.

Inside the bookstore, they had a bin of half gallon holy water jugs. It was so wild, I had to snap a picture. Apparently the bookstore sells these in a not entirely successful attempt to discourage people from bringing old milk jugs to fill.

I broke my moratorium on new breviaries until they’re been updated with the new translation to buy a copy of Daytime Prayer. It has the complete hours of Terce, Sext, and None, and it is a nice, slim little volume that will fit easily in my purse. When I’ve used it a little more, I’ll put up a review. Let’s just hope I can resist the lure of the four volume breviary and the Mundelein Psalter!

I also broke my moratorium on cutesy things. GeekBaby very badly wanted this Saint Benedict magnet, and as I have a soft spot for Saint Benedict, I said okay. He is pretty cute, and now dwells on our fridge next to the magnetic alphebet.

Before we left, we went back up to the plaza in front of the basilica to fill our bottles. Little ones, not half gallons. GeekBaby had to have his own, of course.

It was a nice little day trip. Since GeekBaby was so well behaved (except during Mass), we may try to make more of them. It makes me miss Italy, and all the lovely churches we visited there. Maybe one day we can go back.


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4 Responses to Basilica Visit!

  1. melaniebett says:

    I love that Stations of the Cross. And love his interactive approach. I think we have a book of the Stations that I’ve read with Bella. I’ll have to look it up. Also, we walk around the church after Mass sometimes and look at the ones on the walls and talk about them. Bella can tell you what is happening in each one. I’m not so sure about Sophie. It’s hard for her to get a word in without Bella talking over her.

    Also, I seriously love the cutesy Benedict and I don’t usually do cutesy.

  2. Mad Auntie Mo says:

    I like your St. Benedict. He was all about hospitality, and this little guy surely looks welcoming!

    • GeekLady says:

      I know! He makes me smile every time I see him. They had more saints, but I can’t find these magnets anywhere online.

      I didn’t realize until this trip, but Saint Benedict is a reasonably big deal in the Valley. San Benito is named after him, after all. I just didn’t put it together.

  3. Foxfier says:

    Milk jugs?!?

    I now feel much, much better about the bottle/cup I have… it started life as an adorable single serve wine cup/bottle. Beautiful, and perfect for dipping a finger into if I’ve had nightmares about bad Hollywood demons again, but I was worried it might be tacky!

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