Our Lady of the Rivers, Portage des Sioux

Located down a concrete walkway at the end of a promontory, the statue of Our Lady of the Rivers is a short distance from the town of Portage des Sioux.

Past the front entry, there are a series of steel panels commemorating various river-related events, such the one below.

The statue itself, designed by Norma McClory and made of Monsanto fiberglass, was dedicated in 1957. Various Biblical passages relate to the Virgin and Christ’s life, such as the Star of Bethlehem and the Baptism of Christ, which are visible below.

One the other side, the one on the left refers to the appearance of the Holy Spirit as a dove at Christ’s Baptism, and the one on the right references the Apocalyptic Woman, generally interpreted by theologians to the be the Virgin Mary.

I can’t help but see the influence of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro in the design and form of Our Lady of the Rivers, the former being built several decades before the latter.

The view of the bluffs in Illinois and the river to the east are impressive; you can see the power plant, as well.

One Comment Add yours

  1. The Confluence was the site of the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, signed with the Osage and several other nations on September 15, 1815. The reason it was done here, was that the settlement was substantial and yet very removed from St. Louis. Today, the area still has a very remote feeling, and yet has a lot of history.

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