DOLOMITE MARIAN IMAGES: An Exhibition of
Marian Statues and Bas Reliefs
by the Monastic Sisters of Bethlehem
Exhibited at the Marian Library: February 10 - March 28, 1997
Holy Family Traveling
The Monastic Family of Bethlehem and of the Assumption of the
Virgin was founded on November 1, 1950, at St. Peter's Square in
Rome, when Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The inspiration which a group of
French pilgrims then received may be expressed in this way:
That throughout the world there may exist religious communities
devoted to silent adoration, striving to live in continual
reference to what the Virgin Mary lives in heaven where she has
been taken up with her soul and her body, into the glory of the
Three Divine Persons, hidden for ever with Christ in God.
The vocation of the communities consists in listening to the
Gospel with the Virgin Mary in the heart of the Church, in love,
in solitude, through liturgical life, study, work and poverty. In
order to fulfill this vocation more perfectly, the Monasteries of
Bethlehem receive St. Bruno's fatherhood and his wisdom of life.
The first community of sisters began in 1951. The Monks'
Community was founded in 1976, in the Massif of Chartreuse. As of
1996, there were 450 Sisters in twenty-five monasteries disseminated in
eight countries and forty-five monks in three monasteries.
The Sisters of Bethlehem earn their living by working with their
hands. Through their artwork, they seek to convey something of
God's beauty and truth. Their work itself is accomplished in
prayer, praise to the Creator of all things and intercession for
all those to whom these items are destined.
The Monastic Sisters arrived in Livingston Manor, New York, in
May 1987. In this monastery, they earn their living by making
medallions, icons and chinaware. They also sell dolomite statues,
creches, crucifixes, and bas reliefs made in the monastery of
Of ancient or modern inspiration, these works are made in
dolomite, a stone from the Pyrenees in the south of France. It is
reconstituted and can receive various patinas: unpolished stone,
terracotta - tinted or polychrome -, and old ivory. It can be
covered with genuine bronze. The patina of the ivory items and
the polychromy of the terracottas is made by hand, which confers
to each item a unique character.
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