|Statue of St. Jane de Chantal with the sculptor, Ben Marcune |
On Monday, June 18, at 5:15 p.m., DeSales University will dedicate bronze statues of two saints, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal, both of whom are essential to the spiritual traditions of the school. St. Francis de Sales is the spiritual patron of the University and St. Jane de Chantal, St. Francis’ contemporary and lifelong friend, is foundress of the Visitation Order of religious women.
The dedication ceremony, to be held on the first day of the annual convocation of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, will include: blessings of the statues by the provincials of the Oblates; an introduction of the sculptor, Ben Fortunado Marcune; remarks by Rev. Daniel G. Gambet, president emeritus of DeSales University; and a blessing of the Mary and Edward Driebe Memorial Garden that surrounds the statue of St. Francis de Sales.
Marcune, a nationally acclaimed sculptor and painter from Bethlehem, designed the statues to face each other and be at the same elevation. This is so eye contact between the two saints is maintained, representing their friendship in life. In addition, both statues have a sightline to Marcune’s other campus sculpture, the seven-foot bronze Black Madonna. This work is a rendering of the famous Marian statue, Our Lady of Deliverance, which has been in Paris since the 1400s and was an area of contemplation and prayer for St. Francis de Sales.
It is hoped that the seating area surrounding the two new statues, particularly where the Driebe Memorial Garden is located, will be an area of contemplation and prayer for DeSales University students.
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