Yesterday, the 2008 calendar of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception came in the mail.....for free! (DOPE!). I was really happy to come home to that. The picture for each month is amazing. If you've ever been to the Shrine you know that it's more beautiful than words can describe. But, a picture's worth a thousand words, and I think this calendar does a great job of capturing the beauty of all that the Shrine has to offer.
I think what I like the most about the Shrine is that it gives you a truly deep sense of the catholicity of the Church. She truly is worldwide and universal, and the little side chapels dedicated to the various Marian apparitions all over the world really give you a feeling of the richness and depth of the Catholic faith. I think most Catholics in the U.S. are used to only seeing "caucasian Mary," white like most of us are. So, it's great to see chapels dedicated to Our Lady of China, Our Mother of Africa, Our Lady of La Vang, etc.
Below are three of my favorite images from the calendar. My scanner isn't exactly stellar, so I apologize for the poor quality. But, at least you can get some idea of how wonderful the Shrine is.
If you ever get a chance to go on a pilgrimage to the Shrine, I highly suggest it. For more about the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, go here.