Why Are Statues Covered in Purple

Categories: Homepage Feature, Liturgical, Other


Sunday, March 18, Fifth Sunday of Lent.  As you enter The Shrine on the Fifth Sunday of Lent you will see that all statues and images are covered or veiled in purple cloth.

It is an ancient custom of the Church to veil images during the time of the Lord’s Passion. Many Churches in the world continue this custom today.

It is an act of fasting – not from food or meat, but an act of fasting for our eyes. Our eyes are not given the pleasure of the sacred images for two weeks. At Easter, we again will feast our eyes on the beauty of the art that enhances the Shrine.

It calls all who enter the Shrine to enter inward to the heart, contemplating the great gift of the Lord’s Death and Resurrection. Without any other focus, we are called to remember the central mysteries of our redemption during this holy time.

It creates an environment of penance and royal hope as we anticipate the reawakening of the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil.

It can be a reminder that our lives are to be hidden in Christ, and find their only meaning in His Cross.