LocalChrist Cathedral


By BRADLEY ZINT     5/22/2024

 This is the first section of the Marian Gardens, and where visitors will be invited to start their journey. Joyful Mysteries contains five mosaics as well as stained glass embedded into the walls. The pieces of yellow and orange crushed glass in the pathway symbolize the moments of joy and divine revelation of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, which is what this garden’s mysteries are about.

 Luminous Mysteries features a stage-like area with benches, evoking a scene reminiscent of where Jesus would have preached. This garden is the largest of the four.

Luminous Mysteries’ circular shape is meant to evoke the omega symbol (which, combined with the alpha symbol of the adjacent Our Lady of La Vang Shrine, evokes Jesus’ statement that He is the beginning, or alpha, and the end, or omega).

Its sacred art is made of fusion glass that is illuminated from behind by embedded lights. This garden’s mysteries provide reflections on the various aspects of Jesus’ ministry and his revelation of God’s kingdom on earth.

The pathway in Luminous Mysteries has crushed glass containing blues and greens, representing the sky and earth.

 Sorrowful Mysteries focuses on the suffering and agony of Jesus Christ during his Passion, which is the period before His death and resurrection. The mysteries in Sorrowful — depicted in artwork made of copper and bronze — invite believers to meditate on the profound sacrifice Jesus made for the redemption of humanity.

Given the context of the mysteries in Sorrowful, the garden was designed to be the smallest of the four, evoking feelings of being enclosed, encapsulated and imprisoned. It is more barren than the others, with no additional landscaping. Its entry and exit are narrow.

Unlike the other gardens, Sorrowful only has one bench. This symbolizes the singular loneliness of the Virgin Mary in knowing that she is losing her son and cannot protect him. Beams of metal and wood atop this section crisscross, evoking the image of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during His crucifixion.

The crushed glass on Sorrowful’s pathway is red and burgundy. It symbolizes the blood from Jesus’ sacrifice for all mankind.

 The symbolism in Glorious Mysteries starts during the transition from Sorrowful Mysteries. From the constrained Sorrowful, the faithful walk through a tunnel-like space that gradually opens up to reveal the open-air, bright and optimistic Glorious Mysteries. The pathway for the transition also has embedded pieces of grey and black crushed glass. These pieces gradually transition to bright orange. The color shift represents the path to redemption, and how moving through the darkness leads to glory.

The sacred art in Glorious are five panels made of botticino limestone. These mysteries focus on the triumph of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. They invite believers to reflect on the joyous events following Jesus’ Resurrection and Mary’s Assumption into Heaven.

Glorious Mysteries also features an Our Lady Queen of Heaven statue made of white marble from Carrara, Italy (the same marble as the Our Lady of La Vang statue and Garden of Gethsemane’s Jesus statue). Our Lady Queen of Heaven depicts the Virgin Mary wearing a crown and holding the baby Jesus.

According to Catholic tradition, Our Lady Queen of Heaven is based on the Virgin Mary’s entry into Heaven, where she was honored as queen.

The final steps out of Glorious Mysteries have a dramatic view of the Arboretum, Tower of Hope and Christ Cathedral.