Notre Dame

Sepnotredamedsc_7730tember 19, 2016 – David and Brenda took us to visit Notre Dame University  in South Bend, Indiana.  The grounds themselves were beautiful – a lake with swans, lovely walks where students stroll or hurry, as need be. 


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On the campus is the Grotto at Notre Dame.  It is a one-seventh size replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of the Lourdes in France, where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858.


Near the Grotto is a statue of Dr. Dooley. The plaque on the statue says:

Who as a pre-medical student cherished Our Lady’s Grotto and who as a physician served the afflicted people of Southeast Asia with uncommon devotion and dedication.

Gift of the
Notre Dame Club of St. Louis and the sculptor
Rudolph E. Torrini ’59
Dedicated February 1, 1986

He actually did not graduate, but after he became famous as the “Jungle Doctor,” they gave him an honorary degree.  He died of skin cancer a day after his 34th birthday.


This is a picture of the main administration building of Notre Dame which was built in 1879 after a fire had thoroughly destroyed the original building and most of its contents.


In the administrative building, the history of the founding of the USA is depicted in large paintings called the Columbus Murals, painted by Luigi Gregori, a Vatican artist and professor at Notre Dame.  This one below shows Native Americans brought back to Europe to be presented at the Spanish court.


The picture below is entitled “Bobadilla Betrays Columbus.”   It appears that de Bobadilla was appointed to be the second governor of the Indies.  Columbus had been accused of mismanagement by somebody, and de Bobadilla sent back to Spain in chains.

De Bobadilla died in 1502 in a hurricane that destroyed most of his convoy of ships returning to Spain.  The weakest ship – carrying the gold owed to Columbus – was not destroyed, so Columbus was then accused of causing the hurricane.  See more here.


Here, Columbus is pictured on his deathbed. He may not be overly pleased, since some theorize  he was secretly Jewish (See CNN story about it).


Left, below, is a detail of the floor which has the motto CRUX SPES UNICA (Hail to the Cross, Our Only Hope), and on the right is a view of the inside of the dome of the building,  looking straight up.

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Here is another photo of the dome, taken off-center to show the balconies on each level.


Here is the best photo I could get to show the details of the pictures at top of the inside of the dome.  The figures – also painted by Luigi Gregori –  represent Religion, Philosophy, Science, History, Fame, Poetry and Music.ceiling20160919_163519

The Rosary Crown was originally planned to be placed on the statue atop the dome.  Instead, it was placed on another statue of Mary inside Sacred Heart Church, was stolen by 3 thieves who managed to damage it before getting caught carrying it down the street.  It was repaired, and now is displayed in a protective case in the main building.crown20160919_164303

The 15 loops of crystal beads and panels (above) represent the 15 “mysteries of the rosary.”  To give you an idea of the size of the crown, here it is again with Brenda looking through it.   Tom guesses it is at least 30 inches diameter.

Leaving the Administrative Building, we visited the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the tallest university chapel in America and considered one of the most beautiful.

Below is a one-minute video which gives you an idea of the inside. Faintly, in the background, you can  hear the organist practicing.

This door of the Basilica is called the World War I Memorial Door.  Under the eagles, it says, “God, Country, Notre Dame” and below that in very fancy letters, it says “In Glory Everlasting.”    That’s Brenda standing in front of the door. The picture below her is the Bernini Altar.

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This is a picture called the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.inside20160919_153704_lls


There are 116 stained glass windows consisting of more than 1,200 individual panels; they were designed and made by the Carmelite nuns in Le Mans, France, and were installed beginning in 1873, over a period of 15 years. Today, they are priceless, because comparable artifacts in France were destroyed during the two World Wars.

They depict saints, apostles, theologians, and biblical scenes and many of the figures are life-sized.


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st-severa20160919_153906_lls In the Reliquary Chapel is a glass case with a wax figure of Saint Severa,  martyred as a child in Rome in 269 A.D.  Apparently, her father had been converting the soldiers under his command to Christianity.  When he was punished by being sent to work in the mines, he began converting miners, so he and his family were executed.   Her tomb, containing a chalice of  blood, was discovered in December, 1730.   The cloth-covered box above her head contains her bones and ashes; its seal was opened in 1867.  A few of the small bones were taken out and put into reliquaries, and the box was resealed by the Bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, when he presented it to the Church of Notre Dame.    There is an large display of reliquaries in the Basilica’s Reliquary Chapel, each with a tiny piece of bone or tooth of a saint hidden within a decorative item.   I have never seen a reliquary before and had no idea people really did this.

Later that day, Brenda’s parents treated us to dinner at a Chinese restaurant.  Unfortunately, the only picture I took was of the bit of the place mat that describes my symbol.  Note that the years represented are 12 years apart – so I am also a “Cock,”  having been born 12 years before the earliest date listed.   Tom is a Cock, too, and it’s probably just as well that the place mat doesn’t claim to know what happens when two Cocks team up.



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