Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Miracle Staircase of Loretto Chapel -Sitting Now


Originally published November 19, 2013 via sittingnow.co.uk 

 In the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico, stands the Loretto Chapel, home of a famous spiral staircase said to have been built by a divine stranger who was passing through in 1878.  Unsolved Mysteries did a piece on it, and there’s even a 1998 made-for-TV film, The Staircase.

According to the legend, the chapel, which was stationed at the end of the Santa Fe Trail, was completed without a set of stairs leading to the choir loft.  The Sisters of the Chapel were uncomfortable with their practice of climbing a ladder to the loft before mass, as it allowed any passerby the opportunity to look up their habits.  Plans to install a standard staircase were rejected, since the chapel was fairly small, and space was limited as it was.

To solve the problem, the nuns began a nine-day novena to St. Joseph, patron of carpenters, in the hopes that he would give them some sort of solution.  On the final day, out of nowhere, a man with a donkey and a box of tools appeared, looking for work.

The mystery man agreed to build a spiral staircase that would take up little space and be an inspiration to all who saw it.  The only stipulation: he would be given complete privacy and solitude until the project’s completion.

A few months later, the staircase was unveiled to the oohs and ahhs of the chapel’s Sisters, but the carpenter was nowhere to be found.  Wishing to pay him, or at least give thanks, they even put out an ad in the local paper requesting any information on his whereabouts or his identity, but with no luck.
The only possible answer: the man was St. Joseph, himself, visiting the chapel in response to the fervent prayers said in his name.

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