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Επιστροφή στο Forum : The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase



Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 17:49
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b0/Loretto_Chapel.jpg/450px-Loretto_Chapel.jpg

Many of you are aware of the famous staircase at the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As the story goes, a group of nuns discovered a serious flaw in their newly constructed chapel: there was no means of access to the choir loft! Various carpenters had been asked to solve the problem, but there wasn’t sufficient room to build a stairway. So the nuns prayed a novena to St. Joseph, and on the last day of the novena, their prayers were answered. A man showed up and built a beautiful circular staircase. He left before the sisters could pay him. They did not even know his name. The staircase, it turns out, has no visible means of support that is readily understood by engineers. The origin of the wood is uncertain: the only thing known for sure is that the wood isn’t native to the region. Only wooden pegs were used: no nails. There are exactly 33 steps - one for each year of Our Lord’s earthly life. The nuns believed that St. Joseph himself showed up and built the staircase.


The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase (http://culbreath.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/loretto-chapels-miraculous-staircase/)

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 17:54
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://www6.worldisround.com/photos/0/419/557.jpg

Now the miraculous staircase has some interesting detractors. As to the identity of the carpenter, there is an interesting theory here:

“But wait a minute, says historian Mary J. Straw Cook in the newly revised edition of her 1984 book, ‘Loretto: The Sisters and Their Santa Fe Chapel.’ The carpenter, she says, was Francois-Jean Rochas, a member of ‘les compagnon,’ a French guild of celibate and secretive craftsmen. And he was far from saintly. Reclusive and irascible, he ended up dead in his Dog Canyon cabin, a victim of either suicide or assassination. Cook reached her conclusion after seven years of research and seven trips to France, combing through archives, chancing upon relatives and piecing together scattered bits of history. ‘You try to document everything,’ she said. ‘I have proved this to most historians. They’re convinced this was, in fact, the man.’

Her evidence includes an 1895 article in The New Mexican, in which the chapel’s contractor, Quintus Monier, names Rochas as the staircase’s builder. And a 1881 entry in the sisters’ daybook indicates that a Mr. Rochas was paid $150 ‘for wood.’ Cook has found a freight slip for wood delivered by ship from France and speculates that Rochas brought it over himself. Upon his mysterious death in southern New Mexico, Rochas left three unmailed letters that mention Lamy, later the title character in Willa Cather’s book, ‘Death Comes for the Archbishop,’ and another craftsman who worked on the chapel. The book containing Cook’s evidence was released last month to glowing reviews in various newspapers. The word was out. The legend was solved!”


http://www.lorettochapel.com/images/inside_top/history.jpg


The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase (http://culbreath.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/loretto-chapels-miraculous-staircase/)

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 18:02
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a4/Loretto_Chapel_Miraculous_staircase.jpg/446px-Loretto_Chapel_Miraculous_staircase.jpg


Two mysteries surround the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel:
the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction.

When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.

Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers.

The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.

The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Over the years many have flocked to the Loretto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the television movie titled "The Staircase."


http://www.lorettochapel.com/images/lorettostaircase1.jpg


The Loretto Chapel (http://www.lorettochapel.com/staircase.html)

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 18:09
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d6/Loretto_Chapel_Ext.jpg

The Loretto Chapel is a chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico known for its unusual spiral staircase that is an exceptional work of carpentry. The construction and builder of the staircase is considered a miracle by the Sisters of Loretto and many who visit it.


The Loretto Chapel (http://www.lorettochapel.com/staircase.html)

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 18:17
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://k53.pbase.com/g6/96/711096/2/69664074.iuBafW8o.jpg

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 18:21
The Loretto Chapel

http://www.liveworkdream.com/wp-content/gallery/0408nm_lorettochapel/20080417w_lorettochurch02.jpg

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 18:26
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://i.pbase.com/v3/50/99650/2/45228049.SantaFe093.jpg

Yaryalitsa
23.06.2008, 18:35
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://hometown.aol.com/lorgallego/stairs.jpg

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 12:52
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/h/images/helix_loretto.staircase.jpg

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:07
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://beastandbean.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/2311415856_372c3c1c0f2.jpg

The Loretta Chapel
There are many beautiful, historic churches in Santa Fe, but our favorite was the amazing Loretto Chapel on Old Santa Fe Trail.

Though not nearly as old as the Mission of San Miguel (which happens to be the oldest church in the U.S.) or as imposing as the Saint Francis Cathedral downtown, the Loretto Chapel and its “miraculous” staircase is really something to behold. And the history behind it, wow…

Responding to a plea from Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy to start a school, the Sisters of Loretto sent seven nuns to Santa Fe in 1852. The trip west was brutal and almost immediately, the sisters were beset with a cholera epidemic. Their Mother Superior succumbed to the illness and another sister became too ill to continue the trip and turned back.

The remaining sisters arrived sometime in the fall of 1852 and in 1853 opened the Academy of Our Lady of Light not far from the site of the present day Loretto Chapel. Over time, their school grew and using the tuitions from their students, donations and even money from their own family inheritances, the sisters funded construction of the Loretto Chapel.


http://beastandbean.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/2282766070_8e23ee1214_o.jpg

Modeled after King Louis IX’s Sainte Chapelle in Paris, the Gothic-revival chapel took ten years to build and was finished — complete with stained glass windows imported from France! — sometime in 1878. The only problem was reaching the choir loft in the back of the chapel.

In similar chapels elsewhere, the choir loft was easily accessed by male clergy and a ladder. But the sisters were hoping for something a little less dangerous, so, they consulted a carpenter. He too told them that a ladder was the best way to go as a traditional staircase wouldn’t fit in the tiny chapel.

Now, here is where the story gets really interesting. Legend has it that the frustrated sisters made a novena (which, for you non-Catholics is sort of a specialized prayer) to Saint Joseph, the Patron Saint of Carpenters. They prayed hard for nine days, and on the ninth and final day of the novena, a man appeared at their door looking for work.


The Loretto Chapel (http://beastandbean.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/the-loretto-chapel/)

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:17
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://beastandbean.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/2330934814_0e32c7039d.jpg

The Loretta Chapel
continued from the previous posting

Armed with only a donkey and a toolbox, the man set about building the sisters an elaborate circular staircase with no visible signs of support. Even more impressive is the fact that he built the stairs without nails, using only wooden pegs to hold everything in place.

It took the carpenter six months to fashion the winding staircase and immediately after he’d finished, the man — who never requested or received any payment for his labor — vanished, never to be seen or heard from again. The sisters tried to find him for years, but no trace of the man was ever found. And soon, many locals began to suspect that the mysterious carpenter might be Saint Joseph himself, come to answer the sisters prayers.

Adding credence to that claim is the still-unidentified wood used in several portions of the stairs, not to mention the innovative way the carpenter molded the wood using only the tools he brought with him on his donkey. Now, I don’t know is that dude was really Saint Joseph or not, but trust me, that staircase has some kind of mystical aura.


http://beastandbean.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/2281975969_53388b2774_o.jpg

I was feeling some seriously serene vibes in that place and Ginger was so moved by the whole experience that she actually started crying. Of course, it doesn’t take much to turn on those waterworks (just kidding, Ginger!) but, whoa…even though you can’t walk on them or touch them, there was something really amazing going on with those crazy stairs.

I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of this place before, but apparently the Loretto staircase is so famous that it’s been featured on “Unsolved Mysteries” and was even the subject of a TV movie, “The Staircase”, starring Barbara Hershey, Diane Ladd and CSI’s William Peterson. Who knew?

Anyway, if you get a chance to visit only one church in Santa Fe, I say check this joint out. If the miraculous story behind the stairs doesn’t move you, the super cool 3-D prayer cards in the gift shop surely will!


The Loretto Chapel (http://beastandbean.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/the-loretto-chapel/)

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:21
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://www.runawaytosantafe.com/Loretto-Chapel.jpg

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:28
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/158/401645064_7f3c3eb513.jpg?v=0
The Front Door of Loretto Chapel.

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:34
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://www.s-church.net/photo/nm0705/mini-DSC02483.JPG

The Altar

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:41
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://i.pbase.com/u32/epronske/upload/33091278.LorettoStaircase2.jpg

From the Top of the Stairs

Yaryalitsa
01.07.2008, 13:46
The Loretto Chapel’s Miraculous Staircase

http://k43.pbase.com/u32/epronske/upload/33091365.LorettoCross.jpg

The Loretto Cross