The members of the Holy Trinity, along with the Blessed Mother, are represented in the upper artwork of the Sanctuary:
The Words of God the Father
On the underside of the left and right arches are the words spoken by the Father from the heavens at the Transfiguration: “This is My Son,” and “Listen to Him.”
The Fleur de Lis and the Resurrection of Christ
This abstracted, flowery symbol, in gold leaf above the left and right arches, is most commonly associated with the Bourbon kings of France, and with New Orleans and their NFL team, the Saints. From earlier traditions, however, the stylized lily has represented Easter and the Resurrection of Christ.
The Descending Holy Spirit
Directly above our Altar, on the underside of the central arch, is a depiction of the Holy Spirit as a dove. This follows a long-standing tradition in Catholic Church art, in which the Spirit is shown descending upon the bread and wine on the Altar at the portion of the Eucharistic Prayer termed the “Epiclesis” (Greek for “calling down from on high”), initiating the divine act of Transubstantiating the elements into the Body and Blood of Christ. (This Epiclesis is signaled by the first ringing of the bells.)
Our blue Ave Maria herald with the intertwining “A” and “M,” painted above the central arch, is one of several variations of a medieval symbol for our Blessed Mother. The top of the “A” forms a crown over the “M,” acknowledging Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and the two letters form a cross at their center.