A strong devotion to Christmas
The Capuchin community arrived at the Sanctuary of Lourdes in 2017, as reinforcements in the mission of evangelisation. Father Andrea Caruso liked to allude to his devotion to the feast of Christmas. As an orphan, he could be moved to tears at the thought of Jesus in the manger, the only light in the painful absence of his parents.
3 cribs for the Sanctuary of Lourdes
As a son of Saint Francis of Assisi, the crib held a special place in Father Andrea’s heart. This is why it came as no surprise when he first made the request for 3 cribs for the Sanctuary of Lourdes from his friend, the Genoese artist Emilio Burri. They agreed that they should be linked to Bernadette Soubirous.
3 symbolic places in the life of Bernadette Soubirous
The Capuchin father wanted to demonstrate that God is not distant or inaccessible. This is why he had the places of Bernadette Soubirous’s life in Lourdes reproduced.
At the Immaculate Conception Basilica, you can feel the emotion in the cachot, where Saint Bernadette lived at the time of the apparitions. A little wink from the artist, the figurine of the monk seen between the two buildings has the face of Father Andrea Caruso.
At the crypt, the Grotto, where it all started on 11th February 1858.
At the Rosary Basilica, you can join the party that seems to be taking place at the Boly mill, the “mill of happiness”, to celebrate the baptism of the Soubirous family’s first-born child.
Father Andrea Caruso did not live to see them finished. There is no doubt that in Heaven, with the angels, he is walking with each one of us on this beautiful pathway of cribs, right up to the one displayed in the Grotto. He is no doubt delighted to be sharing his love of Christmas with us.