Marko Rupnik's mosaics in Lourdes will not be removed

The mosaics of the mosaic priest will remain in place, but they will no longer be illuminated during the nighttime Marian processions, the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, Jean-Marc Micas, recently announced. Marko Rupnik, a 69-year-old Slovenian mosaicist and priest, is accused of having committed sexual assaults and psychological violence against around twenty women over a period of 30 years, between 1980 and 2018, particularly in the community he led in Ljubljana.

On display for all to see, the mosaics are located on the façade of Notre-Dame du Rosaire, a Roman-Byzantine-style basilica (1901), visited by 3 million pilgrims traveling to Lourdes each year. Marko Rupnik’s mosaics represent the Luminous Mysteries, a series of 5 key moments in the lives of Jesus and the Virgin Mary that are enunciated during the daily prayer of the Rosary: ​​the baptism of Jesus, the wedding at Cana, the proclamation of the kingdom, the transfiguration and the institution of the Eucharist. The five new mysteries were added in 2002 by John Paul II to the initial 15 mysteries: the Joyful Mysteries, the Sorrowful Mysteries and the Glorious Mysteries. The 15 initial mysteries are represented inside the basilica, they were executed between 1893 and 1907 by the Italian master Giandomenico Facchina.

Mosaics made by Marko Rupnik on the facade of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Lourdes.

In February 2023, a commission bringing together bishops, experts in sacred art, victims and psychologists was set up to consider the fate of the Lourdes mosaic. If the Bishop of Lourdes affirms, in a recent interview for The crossthat all members of the commission agreed that Marko Rupnik’s actions were “unbearable”the opposition to the removal of the mosaics was just as strong. According to the request of the time of the architect of the buildings of France, they are removable.

The complaints of the priest’s victims (nuns and former nuns) have been relayed in the media since 2022. Last June, five women victims of Marko Rupnik (an Italian, a French, a Slovenian and two anonymous women) had requested the pure and simple removal of the priest’s mosaics in all places of worship, i.e. more than 200 mosaics in Lourdes, Fatima (Portugal), Damascus, Washington, the Vatican and Rome where 43 chapels and churches are concerned.

Victims’ lawyer Laura Sgrò welcomes this as a first step for the mosaics of Lourdes, but she has reservations about the measure, which she considers ineffective. “During the day the mosaics will be visible and will continue to fuel the consternation of the faithful and the feeling of pain of the victims”explains Laura Sgrò.

Similar Posts