The other statues

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The other statues

Before the porch of the basilica there are two marble statues.

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prophète Isaïe

On the left, that of the prophet Isaiah holding a volumen (i.e a roll unfolding from his arm) on which is inscribed one of the prophet’s announcements: Behold the maid with child, she will bring forth a son and he will be called Emmanuel (meaning:God with you).

The maid Isaiah speaks of is obviously the Virgin Mary.

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Saint Jean l’évangéliste

To the right, the statue of the Apostle John, he to whom Jesus, as he was dying on the cross, entrusted the Virgin Mary. He is holding a volumen on which is engraved the beginning of a sentence from the Book Apocalypse attributed to this Apostle: A great sign appeared in the sky: a woman, clad with the sun, the moon at her feet, a crown of twelve stars. Christians writers have always considered that, in its figurative style, this passage from the Apocalypse refered to the Virgin Mary. Both these statues were created by the sculptor Joseph Marius Ramus.

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Saint Joseph
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Saint Pierre par Jules Cantini

Inside the basilica, there can be seen , in the side chapel on the right nearest to the choir, a statue of St Peter produced and donated by the sculptor Jules Cantini and, in the side chapel opposite it on the left, a statue of St Joseph.

In the hall which comes before the crypt, one discovers on the right the statue of Pius IX who was the pope at the time of the building of the present sanctuary and who was beatified in the year 2000.

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Monseigneur Eugène de Mazenod de Ramus
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Le pape Pie IX de Ramus

Also, on the left, the statue of Mgr Eugène de Mazenod, bishop of Marseilles from 1837 to 1861, who posed the first stone of the new sanctuary in 1853 and who was canonised in 1995. These two statues are also the work of the sculptor Ramus.

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Le Christ au tombeau, œuvre le l’allemand Meyer

Entering the crypt, one finds to the left a prone figure representing Christ laid in the tomb; and a statue of St Antoine de Padoue. Moreover, in the side chapels to the right, one finds further statues: firstly St Theresa, then the child Jesus, then a block of three statues by the ceramist Bruno Marlot, representing the three members of the Holy Family: Mary and Joseph with the adolescent Jesus.

In the hall on the first floor of the entrance building is exposed a Mater dolorosa: a sculpture of the head of the weeping Virgin. This statue by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, was offered to the basilica by the widow of this great sculptor of the 19th century.

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Mater dolorosa

On the esplanade below, one can see a sculpture which, despite what many think, does not represent the Virgin Mary with Christ walking to the calvary, but St Veronica, the woman who, according to tradition, wiped the face of Jesus with a cloth upon which his facial features imprinted themselves.

Finally, looking up towards the bell-tower, one discovers the statues of four angels sounding their trumpets, in this way inviting symbolically the crowds to come up the Garde hill.

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