Chicopee woman seeks additional Mary gardens for upcoming book
(Photo courtesy of Marie Meder)
CHICOPEE – Chicopee resident Marie Meder has issued a “last call” for Mary gardens to be featured in an upcoming book, which will include photos and information about local backyard shrines to the Blessed Mother.
Inspired by a statue of Mary visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike in Warren, Meder began her search for Mary gardens in the summer of 2012. Calling the search, the “Mary’s Garden Project,” she has discovered and photographed Mary statues in many western Massachusetts locations, stretching from Warren to Blandford.
In a press release sent to iobserve, Meder said she also heard from a few churches whose grounds included gardens devoted to Mary, including a newly dedicated one at Blessed Sacrament Church in Holyoke, created to commemorate their 100th year.
Not only were hidden backyard Mary gardens discovered, Meder stated in her press release, but she said she was “fortunate to meet many wonderful people, many of whom shared their stories and reasons for acquiring the statue.
“One trait they all had in common was a strong devotion to Mary and a spiritual belief that she answers their prayers,” Meder said.
The statues have ranged in size from about two feet to five feet, Meder stated, and “ran the gamut of surroundings, including grottos handmade with love and patience using rock, stone or brick. Others were displayed among flowers, underneath an arch, or positioned on a stump under a canopy of trees – one statue overlooked a waterfall and pond.
“From simple to elaborate, each and every one was unique and treasured,” Meder stated. “From paint-peeled to freshly painted, each statue was beautiful and a work of art. Many were over 50 years old and the variety was incredible: cement, plaster, iron, white ones, black ones and those in living color. Some statues are lit at night as a beacon of hope.”
Meder is presently seeking additional pictures to complete the book. Anyone interested in participating in the Mary's Garden Project is asked to contact her at 413-592-4946 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.