Building of The Chapel of St. Francesco

In 2007, one of our dreams came true. It was the building of a chapel. We have hesitated for a long time to whom the chapel should be dedicated. In the end, we have chosen St. Francesco of Assisi.

There were several reasons. He is the patron of animals, nature and ecology. Which suits perfectly to the mountains and it also expresses our relationship to animals, nature and the fact that we are in a national park. Another reason was the inheritance that St. Francesco left and that is the Christmas habit of building nativity scenes. Because at the place where the chapel stands today was originally a stone nativity scene, which we have moved and that now stands on the right in front of the entrance to the chapel.

     

                   


The preparations took place for about a year and the construction itself was managed in record time from July to September 2007. The author of the chapel design is our friend, architect Zuzana Sceranková and the project was made by Ing. Martin Havlíček.

The chapel's masonry is made of local stone and there are two stained-glass windows in each of the side walls. The front of the turret is glazed to enable the view of the bell that bears the name of saint Anežka Česká (Agnes of Bohemia). Above the entrance there we have placed a statue of st. Francesco by Marian Grolmus.

On October 3, 2007, a long awaited day came when a lot of visitors and our friends witnessed consecration by Mons. Josef Kajnek in the presence of papal nuncio in the Czech Republic Mons. Diego Causer.


                   


In those few years the chapel has become the center of a piece of land on the slope of Malý Šišák. We dare to say that it is one of the liveliest chapels in the Giant Mountains. There is often said a holy mass here and all year round there are held church as well as civil weddings. Over the years we have also two traditions. One of them is the annual pilgrimage to St. Francesco, the first Sunday before or after the feast of this saint (October 4), and the second is the somewhat younger Three Kings Mountain Festival, which introduced here Mons. Tomáš Halík. It takes place on the evening of Three Kings on January 6th. In recent years, the feast has been accompanied by a procession of three kings riding on horseback, a lantern parade, and the ordination of the chalk pieces.


                           


 

The stone nativity scene

In 1999, a relief of a crib was carved, specially for this purpose, out of sandstone imported from a quarry near Betlém u Kuksu. The Nativity Scene is the work of the sculptor Roland Hantlem of Mladé Buky.
Father Jiří Šlégr consecrated the nativity scene onOctober 2, 1999. This date, carved on the right side of the stone, is the feast of the Guardian Angels.

The crib is about 110 centimetres tall and 150 centimetres wide. The lower part is a pedestal that also represents the cradle for little Jesus. At this point, the work thickness reaches about 90 centimetres.

It is decorated with the Latin inscription: "Gloria in excelsis - Deo et in terra pax hominious bonae voluntatis” – "Glory to God in the highest and on earth to people of good will ". In the upper half, St. Joseph is depicted on the left and Virgin Mary on the right. Silhouettes are complemented by a lying lamb on the left side and a cow and another sheep on the right.


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ERLEBACHOVA BOUDA, s.r.o.

Špindlerův Mlýn 109

543 51 Česká republika

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+420 731 598 895
E-mail: betlem@spmlyn.cz

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