Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Set in lofty niches are two figures who waited... and waited for the Messiah. Simeon and Anna are a rarely depicted in statue form. Of the once over 400 churches and shrines in the Chicago area- there seem to be only four statues in all. You can see these two - though they are very high up - in the St Francis of Assisi Church on the corner of Rosevelt Road at Halstead.
Through a poignantly personal meeting, the aged faithful Simeon and prophetess Anna recognize the Messiah in this young family, and the whole world is offered "another epiphany". These two people come to represent the Old Testament, meeting with Jesus, the new Covenant. A personal encounter becomes a universal revelation.
Interestingly, the familiar image of Our Lady of Guadalupe creates added depth to the meditation they invoke. She is centrally highlighted between these figures and is a re-Presentation of the same manifestation that Anna and Simeon experienced. While attuned to the people in the Americas 500 years ago, this altar setting echoes the revelation of a Savior who extinguishes terrible violence through great simplicity and love in personal, human encounter both then and now.