This cut geode is a natural grotto for the
little statue of Our Lady of Lourdes. Its interior is full of amethyst crystals, a
Besides being a rock of beauty surrounding
a representation of a beautiful person, it just happens there are some
things pertaining to it, upon which one may meditate. The color of the
crystals here, and their reflecting light, are something to think about.
Purple is a color of royalty.
It is also the color of suffering, and a liturgical color for sorrow and penance.
As to royalty, Mary is the mother of the
King of Kings, a royal personage herself, the Queen of Heaven.
As to suffering, the Vatican II document,
Lumen Gentium (58), says
that she persevered with her Son to the cross, where she endured with Him
"the intensity of his suffering."
As to sorrow, she is known as Our Lady of Sorrows,
with her feastday on Sept. 15th. We speak of her Seven Sorrows or Dolors:
these are the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, losing Jesus
for three days, meeting Him as He carried the cross, His death upon that
being taken down from it and His burial.
As to penance, when she appeared at Lourdes, an
event this picture depicts, she asked for for prayer and penance to convert
the world. Purple vestments are worn during Lent, a time of
mortification and penance.
Even the origin of the word amethyst fits
in, in a meditative way. It was called by the Greeks amethystos, the
part deriving from methy, wine (To them it was a charm against the
effect of overimbiding).
While we can safely discount the
non-intoxicating belief of amethyst, we may associate amethyst with wine,
and hence, with Mary's Son Jesus. Not only did He work a miracle in
response to His mother's concern at the wedding feast of Cana, by changing
water into wine, but wine is changed into His blood at the consecration of
the Mass, where the one sacrifice of the Cross is made present again for our
It was at Lourdes in 1858 that Mary told
Bernadette "I am the Immaculate Conception" when Bernadette asked who she
was. In telling her this, the Blessed Virgin confirmed the dogma of
the Immaculate Conception, declared by the Church a few years earlier in 1854. This
privilege of hers, this fact of being without sin, made her a fit vessel to
bring Christ into the world. He was surrounded by her sinlessness and
perfection, and wrapped in her holiness. Her life led to His
life, and His life would lead to the Cross, to the Mass and to our salvation.