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Rosary Madonna.
Rosary Madonna.

Marian Shrine - Towering Rosary Madonna

Field review by the editors.

Stony Point, New York

On a tranquil rise in the Hudson Valley, a 48 ft. tall bronze Virgin Mary gazes eastward. It's the big attraction at the Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center. The sleekly sculpted "Rosary Madonna" slings a giant loop of rosary beads, tiny crucified Jesus dangling from one end. The statue was cast in Italy in 1959, blessed by the Pope, and stood at Good Counsel College in White Plains, NY until 1977. Then it was donated and moved to the Marian Shrine, where it stands on "a star-shaped base, like the Statue of Liberty," as explained on a nearby sign.

The stroll up to the statue passes by modern, stylized stone sculptures of the Stations of the Cross -- the faces reminded us of the Lion King for some reason. A volunteer worker moving stumps suggested we head into the woods to visit an older collection of Stations of the Cross statues.

Outside the Retreat Center we noted a subdued stone monument to aborted babies, and a life-sized statue of a priest -- Don Bosco? -- comforting two admiring boys above a sign: "Anyone in trouble is my friend."

Marian Shrine - Towering Rosary Madonna

Marian Shrine

174 Filors Lane, Stony Point, NY
Marian Shrine. Palisades Parkway to Exit 14 (Willow Grove Road/Letchworth Village). Head east on County Road 98/Willow Grove Rd. Follow signs 1.5 miles, to Marian Shrine entrance on right. Mary is far south of the entrance; drive as far as you can, then walk the rest of the way.
Grounds open M-Sa 10-5, Su 12-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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