Today is an important day for Catholics, and although I am not Catholic, I do realize that the new Pope is nevertheless a world leader. Having grown up as a Protestant, I never really heard much about Mary in Sunday school. Perhaps that is why I have grown to love images, statues and churches devoted to Mary. She is the Goddess in Christianity, and inspires the most heartfelt devotion I see when I do venture into a Catholic church. She is who people turn to for help, their own Mother. This beautiful Lady lives not very far from me, in Santa Clara. Her church is called Our Lady of Peace Shrine.
She is very tall in the landscape and looks out over Silicon Valley office buildings and freeways. We can even see Her from the freeway when we pass. Though her location is in the most mundane of places, yet She is a sacred presence and brings devotees of all kinds to pray at her feet. This photo below was taken during the Advent season, so amongst all the poinsettias, her worshipper with the red scarf makes her offering and prayer. The paved area before Her includes a cross in the concrete. She opens her hands to us, accepting our prayers and pleas, giving us Her love always. May the new Pope hear Her voice in his heart and help to bring peace to the world.