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Press Release: DeSales Dedicates Seven-foot Bronze Statue of Mary for Those Seeking Refuge and Hope
Date: 10/6/2004

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DeSales Dedicates Seven-foot Bronze Statue of Mary for Those Seeking Refuge and Hope, Thurs., Oct. 7

DeSales will dedicate a seven-foot bronze statue of Mary at 4 p.m., Thursday, October 7, on the hilltop plaza overlooking the scenic DeSales campus, across from University Heights I Student Residence on DeSales Drive. The statue is a rendering of the famous Marian statue, Our Lady of Deliverance, which has been in Paris since the 1400s.

The dedication ceremony will include: Welcome from Rev. Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, President of DeSales; Blessing from Most Rev. Edward Cullen, D.D., Bishop of Allentown; reflections on the Salesian Significance of the statue of Mary by Rev. Thomas Dailey; reflections on sculpting the statue, and a hymn sung by the DeSales Chorale.

Ben Fortunado Marcune, a nationally acclaimed sculptor and painter from Bethlehem, spent 18 months creating the statue. During the spring of 2003, Marcune, Father O'Connor and Father Alexander Pocetto, senior vice president at DeSales, traveled to Paris, where they located the original statue. Marcune took photos and made sketches, which he used to create the sculpture.

According to Marcune, he used the Renaissance version of the Black Madonna, and added a 21st century, contemporary feel to it. The hilltop area where the statue will reside is a place for contemplation, peace and rest for those who seek it.

The Church of St. Etienne-des-gres, where the original Black Madonna can be found, is located in Paris. While in search of his own education and vocational development, the young Francis de Sales spent several years in Paris, where he attended the college of Clermont, the first Jesuit institution. Upon returning from classes, he would stop at the church and pray before the statue of the Black Madonna. Biographers have written that on one such occasion, Francis experienced a spiritual conversion and true understanding of divine mercy.

For more information, please contact Penny Savakis, director of public relations at DeSales University, at 610-282-1100, ext. 1477, or at Penny.Savakis@desales.edu.

Press Release: DeSales Dedicates Seven-foot Bronze Statue of Mary for Those Seeking Refuge and Hope | Posted on: 10/6/2004

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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