What is a Sanctuary
A Sanctuary (or Shrine) is a sign of the active presence of God in time and in history.
It is a place of respite in which the people of God on our journey to the heavenly City - a place which can renew our strength for the pilgrim journey.
- (Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Vatican City 2001, Ch 8, 262)
The Sanctuary of Fourvière is a living Marian Shrine in Leithfield, New Zealand.
It is an apostolate of the Community of the Beatitudes. The Community share the beauty of their liturgical rhythm of prayer, inviting each person to ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’.
The Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Light (Mater Lucis) connects pilgrims to the first Catholic mission from Fourvière, Lyon and invites us to become sons and daughters of a new evangelisation in our families and communities.
A Path for a New Evangelisation
As Jesus did in the Sermon on the Mount, the Sanctuary proclaims to pilgrims the message of Life (Mk 1:14; Rm 1;1);the joyful proclamation of the goodness and fatherhood of God and of His loving providence; the commandment of love; the salvific significance of the Cross and the transcendent end of human life.
This mission of evangelisation is supported at the Sanctuary through:
• exemplary liturgy, celebrations and popular devotions
• guidance and accompaniment of those on personal retreat
• teachings or formation for groups
• family days
• prayer nights
• healing prayer
What is Fourvière?
Jesus gave a great commission to his disciples... "Be my witnesses to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8) and "make disciples of all nations" (Matt 28: 16-20)
Fourvière is a hill that overlooks the city of Lyon in France. It holds a huge significance for both New Zealand and France. Fourvière is central to the story of how the Faith was first sewn in the soils of both nations and then watered by the blood of their region's first martyrs.
The first Bishop of Lyon was St Pothin, who was martyred at the hands of the Romans as was his successor, St Irenaeus. Irenaeus was a disciple of St Polycarp who was a disciple of John the apostle. Over the centuries a devotion to Mary flourished at Fourvière and by the 1800s a great missionary fervour began to flow.
Eighteen centuries later, the first Bishop of Oceania and New Zealand, Bishop Pompallier set off from Fourvière for the Pacific. With him was the first martyr of Oceania, St Peter Chanel who was killed on the Island of Futuna, near Samoa. Pompallier arrived in New Zealand on the 10th January 1838 and the following Saturday he wrote...
..."for the first time, the blood of Jesus Christ flowed in this island at the sacrifice of the Mass, which I celebrated, and which had probably never before been celebrated in New Zealand."
- Bishop Jean Baptiste Franscois Pompallier
Today the Sanctuaries of Fourvière in Lyon and Leithfield are at the service of the mission of the Church in the heart of a new evangelisation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FASCINATING HISTORY OF FOURVIERE ....