A new walk-through experience at the Christ Cathedral campus that tells the story of the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary will soon debut.

The Marian Gardens will have a public blessing ceremony starting at 4 p.m. on May 29, with Bishop Kevin Vann presiding over the Mass that starts at 5:15 p.m.

The $3.6-million project, located behind the campus’ Our Lady of La Vang Shrine, is a unique combination of art, architecture and landscaping in a quiet, serene setting. It consists of four areas totaling about 3,500 square feet and can accommodate individuals or small groups.

Each garden is devoted to one category of the Mysteries of the Rosary: Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious. Within each garden are five pieces of artwork that depict the various mysteries.

All 20 pieces of the sacred art were hand-crafted in the Peruvian Andes by skilled artisans from Artesanos Don Bosco, a Catholic Church-affiliated nonprofit.

They were done in mosaic, fusion glass, copper and bronze panels, and botticino limestone panels.

The mysteries include when the Angel Gabriel first appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce that she would give birth to Jesus, the wedding at Cana when Jesus turned water into wine, the crucifixion and death of Jesus, and when Mary is crowned as Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Another design detail embedded in the walking paths of the gardens are pieces of crushed glass in colors that exemplify the Biblical stories being told. For example, in Sorrowful Mysteries, red and burgundy glass is present — colors that represent the pool of blood from Jesus’ sacrifice for all mankind.

The Marian Gardens were first announced in December 2016 as part of the La Vang project for Christ Cathedral’s Marian Court, which is located northeast of the cathedral. The first phase of the project was the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine dedicated in 2021.

Groundbreaking for the Marian Gardens, the second phase of the La Vang project, began in November 2022.

“While the Our Lady of La Vang Shrine is for Masses and other large celebrations, the Marian Gardens are serene. It’s a park-like prayer area,” said Elysabeth Nguyen, CEO of the OLLV Foundation, which has managed the fundraising and construction for the entire La Vang project….

From OC Catholic