The Helix Staircase of the Loretto Chapel and Other Miracles

The Helix Staircase of the Loretto Chapel and Other Miracles

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Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in New Mexico, US. But it is not just the age of the city that makes it a popular destination. In the center of the city stands an architectural landmark, a former Roman Catholic Church , which is known as the Loretto chapel. The church was built in the 1870s and it has a French gothic style , but unlike other chapels where you admire the paintings, statues, stained glass , and masonry skills, this chapel is famous for its helix spiral staircase , otherwise called the “Miraculous Stairs.”

Legend of the Loretto Chapel Staircase Miracle

According to legend, which has since been made into a movie called “The Staircase” (1998), the nuns of the Loretto Chapel that were there when it was being built realized at some point that they had to find a way to build a staircase to connect the choir loft to the ground floor. They didn’t want the staircase to be big because it would take up too much space, so they went to get advice from the local carpenters -but no one could provide a feasible solution.

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. ( eickys /Adobe Stock)

According to the historical account, a short time later a man arrived and offered to do the job but he asked to be alone in the chapel for three months, and with only simple tools including a saw, T-square, and a hammer, he built the ‘miraculous’ staircase. It is a spiral staircase making two complete 360 degrees rotations but without using a central pole and without using any nails, only wooden pegs.

The bannister of the staircase is perfectly curved, a remarkable accomplishment considering the basic tools that were used. The shape of the helix is not a stable weight-supporting structure, and without the middle column it shouldn’t be able to withstand the weight of people using the staircase.

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When the man finished the staircase, he left without asking for a cent. The nuns tried to find him but they could not. They did not know who he was and where he got the wood from. 10 years later the railing was added to the staircase by Phillip August Heasch – for safety reasons.

Later on, the manager of the privately owned chapel (1991-2006), Richard Lindsley, took a piece of wood from the staircase and sent it for analysis to find out what kind of wood it was. When the results came back, they showed that it was spruce, but of an unknown subspecies. This specific wood was very strong with dense and square molecules - which is something that you usually find in trees that grow very slowly in very cold places like Alaska.

However, there was no such wood in the area and no local trees grow in the Alpine tundra in the surrounding area. The closest place that he would find this density in trees was in Alaska, but of course back then transport was not the same as it is now and wood was not transported over such long distances.

Were the Stairs Created by a Man from a French Secret Society?

Santa Fe New Mexican offers an alternative explanation for the amazing staircase. It’s said that when historian Mary J. Straw Cook researched the stairs for a book she was writing, she “found information in an 1881 nun’s daybook that a man named Rochas was paid for wood.” Francois-Jean Rochas, an alleged “member of a French secret society of highly skilled craftsmen and artisans called the Compagnons, which had existed since the Middle Ages ” has been named as the skilled woodworker who apparently “came to the U.S. with the purpose of building the staircase with wood shipped from France.”

When a group of stair-building professionals convened at the Loretto Chapel a few years ago to see the staircase they were shocked at the beauty, design, and engineering of the stairs. A couple of their comments on the workmanship after analyzing the stairs are: “We all like to think we create creative stair designs and nice curved staircases, but to think how they did it that long ago and still attain the same quality is breathtaking” and

“One hundred and fifty years ago it took a very well-trained, seasoned, experienced master craftsman. We have been building them for centuries like this. The fact that somebody showed up out of the desert might be a miracle, but he knew exactly what he was doing.”

Miraculous staircase, Loretto chapel. Santa Fe, NM. (Alain Secretan (ASITRAC) / CC BY NC SA 2.0 )

Miracles through History

The nuns of the Loretto Chapel have attributed the staircase to a miracle, a divine event that seems to transcend natural law, and they believed that the man who came to create the staircase was a man sent from heaven. While the account of the mysterious helix staircase of Loretto is a relatively modern-day legend associated with a miracle, reports of miracles go back thousands of years and can be found in virtually every religion and culture around the world.

During the first century BC, a variety of religious movements and splinter groups developed amongst the Jews in Judea. A number of individuals claimed to be miracle workers in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha, the ancient Jewish prophets. The Talmud provides some examples of such Jewish miracle workers, one of whom is Honi HaM'agel, who was famous for his ability to successfully pray for rain.

Elisha sees Elijah taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire. ( Public Domain )

In Buddhism too, there are texts that speak of miracles. The biographies of High Monks record that King Beopheung of Silla had desired to promulgate Buddhism as the state religion. However, officials in his court opposed him.

In the 14th year of his reign, Beopheung's "Grand Secretary", Ichadon, devised a strategy to overcome court opposition. Ichadon set up a scenario which would result in his capture and eventual execution. He prophesied to the king that at his execution a wonderful miracle would convince the opposing court faction of Buddhism's power.

Ichadon's scheme went as planned. According to the story, when Ichadon was executed on September 15th, 527 AD, his prophecy was fulfilled; the earth shook, the sun was darkened, beautiful flowers rained from the sky, his severed head flew to the sacred Geumgang mountains, and milk instead of blood sprayed 100 feet (30.48 meters) in the air from his beheaded corpse.

The Monk Ichadon. ( Public Domain )

The omen was accepted by the opposing court officials as a manifestation of heaven's approval, and Buddhism was made the state religion in 527 AD.

Later, in the 1600s, the saint and mystic St. Joseph of Cupertino entered into a religious trance and reportedly began hovering over the crowds. He apparently experienced this levitation multiple times — one time in front of Pope Urban VIII . As a result of his flying exploits, this mystic is the patron saint of pilots.

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Though not strictly a miracle, the Shroud of Turin is one of the most famous relics in history. The textile is allegedly the burial shroud of Jesus and contains an imprint of his face. Subsequent research has revealed that at least parts of the relic date to medieval times , suggesting it was an elaborate hoax. However, follow-up research found the shroud could be much older — dating to between 280 BC to 220 AD.

Belief in miracles has existed from as long as history has been recorded up until the present day. However, as scientific progress has marched forward, many apparent miracles have wound up having scientific explanations. Others have shown to be elaborate hoaxes. Nevertheless, despite scientific progress, there are still many miraculous phenomena that have not yet been explained.

Who Built The Helix Staircase of Loretto Chapel?

When the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico has the main attraction. Many people go to churches to look at the paintings, statues, and structures. The thing most people come to see is the Helix Staircase that was built by a mysterious stranger. At first, it was a mystery of how the staircase stood, but now people know that it's because of the physics of the staircase. Now the mystery still lies in who the kind stranger was and where did the spruce wood he used come from.

Here's a bit of history of the Chapel first.

The story of the Loretto Chapel began in 1850. Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy saw a need to educate girls in the New Mexico Territory. Six Sisters were sent to start Loretto Academy for Girls. The sisters also had to learn Spanish as that was a language spoken in the territory. In 1853 when they arrived in Santa Fe the school was opened.

It wasn't until 20 years later in 1873 when they were able to start constructing the Chapel. The Chapel was inspired by French architecture, specifically of Sainte Chapelle in Paris. By 1878 the Architect of the structure had died before finishing the choir loft 22 feet high. Unfortunately, a staircase would have taken up too much floor space and the Chapel had no money to redo it.

It is said that the sisters did a nine-day novena to Saint Joseph the Saint of Carpenters for a miracle. On the final day their prayers were answered, a carpenter appeared. He arrived with a carpenters square and hammers, and he used wooden pegs instead of nails. His only rule for the job was that he was to do it in private. He had completed his job and left just as mysteriously as he arrived.

When the sisters saw the finished product they were shocked. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and has no center pole for support. It was exactly what they needed. It didn't take too much room and the choir loft was useful. later a railing was added so that it was easier to climb. The sisters searched to find out what kind of wood he used, but it turns out to not have been native to the area.

The Sisters were thankful for the stranger. Some believed that it was Saint Joseph himself or someone sent in by Saint Joseph. All that is known is that the Sisters prayers were answered.

The Baffling Mystery Of Loretto Chapel Staircase

You perhaps have heard of it, the staircase at Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where – according to the literature – nuns who operated a convent there began a novena to Saint Joseph, patron of carpenters and builders, when they needed a way to easily traverse up to the choir loft, which previously had been accessed by a ladder.

Their dilemma was that there was no room for a stairway as normal stairways go. A flurry of carpenters they consulted had said so.

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According to accounts, on the last day of the novena, a gray-haired man came to the convent with a donkey and a tool chest — basically, a saw, a hammer, and a square. He also needed tubs to soak wood.

They gave him the job, and he set about the work on July 25, 1873, taking what is now estimated as six to eight months to complete it. Only wood pegs (no nails) were used. And the result was exquisite.

“The winding stairway that the old man left for the sisters is a masterpiece of beauty and wonder,” noted St. Joseph Magazine.

“It makes two complete 360-degree turns. There is no supporting pole up the center as most circular stairways have. This means it hangs there with no support. The entire weight is on the base. Some architects have said that by all laws of gravity, it should have crashed to the floor the minute anyone stepped on it and yet was used daily for nearly a hundred years.”

Indeed, there are photos of the staircase filled with members of the choir!

When the sisters went to pay the man, continues the account, he had vanished. There is no record of paying anyone a penny for the incredible piece of carpentry.

We have had an article on this previously. “I spoke with Urban C. Weidner, a Santa Fe architect and wood expert, about the staircase,” noted Sister M. Florian.

“He told me that he had never seen a circular wooden stairway with 360-degree turns that did not have a supporting pole down the center. One of the most baffling things about the stairway, however, is the perfection of the curves of the stringers, according to Mr. Weidner. He told me that the wood is spliced along the sides of the stringers with nine splices on the outside and seven on the inside. Each piece is perfectly curved. How this came about in the 1870s by a single man in an out-of-the-way place with only the most primitive tools has never been explained.”

Indeed, it is a gorgeous piece of woodwork – now with banisters (it was originally constructed without any).

An angel? St. Joseph himself?

“Sisters, going in to the Chapel to pray, saw the tubs with wood soaking in them, but the man always withdrew while they said their prayers, returning to his work when the Chapel was free,” says another account.

“Some there are who say the circular stair which stands there today was built very quickly. Others say no, it took quite a little time. But the stair did grow, rising solidly in a double helix without support of any kind and without nail or screw. The floor space used was minimal and the stair adds to, rather than detracts from, the beauty of the chapel.”

Some claim the riddle of the carpenter’s identity was finally solved in the late 1990s by Mary Jean Straw Cook, author of Loretto: The Sisters and Their Santa Fe Chapel (2002: Museum of New Mexico Press). She claimed his name was Francois-Jean “Frenchy” Rochas, an expert woodworker who emigrated from France and arrived in Santa Fe around the time the staircase was built.

In addition to evidence that linked Rochas to another French contractor who worked on the chapel, Cook found an 1895 death notice in The New Mexican explicitly naming Rochas as the builder of “the handsome staircase in the Loretto chapel.”

However, the skeptical viewpoint comes in large part from a magazine operated by humanists and atheists (and in fact called The Skeptical Inquirer).

We would like to emphasize another twist to this mystery. It comes to us from Richard Lindsley, who managed the Loretto Chapel (which is now in private hands) from 1991 to 2006 and says at one point he took a sample of wood from the staircase and gave it to a scientist named Forrest N. Easley, who worked at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, California.

“I went to the top of the stairs,” Lindsley told Spirit Daily. “There’s a crack that’s held together with a metal plate. The staircase had sunk an inch or inch-and-a-half into the floor. That’s where I pried a loose piece and gave it to him. I expected to hear the results quickly.”

Instead, says Lindsley, two months passed and he all but gave up about hearing anything. But one day, he recalls, Easley showed up at the chapel because he wanted to report his results in person. What he told Lindsley was straight to the point: the wood sample was spruce of no known subspecies. It matched nothing in the scientific record.

Easley had wanted to thoroughly search through all known data. That’s what had caused the delay. He researched it further and after 18 months came out with a careful, measured statement saying that the wood from the staircase had molecules that were “very dense and square” and indicated that it had come from trees that grew slowly in a “very, very cold place,” like Alaska, not New Mexico.

That was interesting because at the time the chapel was constructed – by the mysterious stranger – there was no rail system that could have brought in the wood from such a distance, and no local trees that grew above an elevation of 10,000 feet – which is the only place of comparable cold.

The closest match remained spruce from Alaska. In short, it was no known type.

Mysteries of the Miraculous Staircase at the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe

Three mysteries surround the Miraculous Staircase at the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe: who built it, the engineering behind its construction, and the materials used.

History of the Loretto Chapel

In 1869, Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy hired two French architects Antoine Mouly and his son Projectus to construct the mother church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Lamy allowed the Sisters to make use of the architect’s services on the side to construct a chapel for the Loretto Girls’ Academy. Projectus became the principal architect of the chapel, inspiring his design from the famous Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, with French imported stained-glass windows dominating the chapel. Officially consecrated in 1878, the chapel’s Gothic design featured spires and buttresses, with locally quarried sandstone. Projectus suddenly died in 1879 before completing access to the choir loft.

Jesus in the Loretto Chapel © Janie Pace

The Story of the Miraculous Staircase

The Sisters consulted several carpenters regarding stairway access to the choir loft, but all concluded that a ladder would take up less seating space in the chapel. To find a solution, the sisters prayed a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day, a man appeared at the chapel with a toolbox and donkey looking for work. Several months later, the carpenter finished a remarkably elegant circular staircase, then quietly disappeared without pay or gratitude.

The carpenter built the 20-foot tall staircase with two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support, seeming to defy physics, using wooden pegs and glue, no nails. There were questions about the type of wood used as well as the number of stair risers relating to the height of the choir loft. The sisters viewed the finished staircase as a miracle and imagined the builder as St. Joseph himself.

The handrails were added later in 1887 by another craftsman Phillip August Hesch as well as an iron support bracket.

Mysterious Staircase in Loretto Chapel © Janie Pace

Engineering of the Staircase

One of the miracle aspects of the staircase is the lack of the newel or center pole usually constructed to support and stabilize a spiral staircase. The compact stair stringers or outer and inner stair sides twist into a helix or spiral. The inside stringer with overlapping segments joined by wood glue created a laminate, that initiated more substantial center support. The staircase held a significant amount of weight, based on a photograph taken about 1959 of at least a dozen choir members posing on the stairs. Ash, a wood not native to the area of Santa Fe, was used in the construction of the staircase. There were 33 stair risers, the age Jesus was when he died on the cross.

Mysterious Staircase with window © Janie Pace

Identity of the Carpenter

In the early 2000s, amateur historian Mary Jean Cook found evidence of the probable carpenter as Francois-Jean “Frank” or “Frenchy” Rochas (1843-1894), who came to New Mexico from France around the 1870s. Cook also found an entry in the Sisters’ ledger, noting that Rochas was paid $150 for wood in 1881 (equal to $3,974 in 2019), confirming a construction job he performed. A short article in the Santa Fe New Mexican in early 1895 reported the murder of Rochas: “he was a Frenchman favorably known in Santa Fe as an expert worker in wood.” The article stated that he constructed the magnificent staircase in the Loretto chapel and a stairway at St. Vincent sanitarium. At his death, he owned a comprehensive set of carpentry tools, including a pair of trammel points for drawing large circles, saws, clamps, planes, gauges, chisels, braces, drills, bits, and a reamer.

One of the Stained Glass Windows © Janie Pace

Regarding the Miraculous Staircase, there are many amazing stories, TV specials, including “Unsolved Mysteries,” as well as a movie entitled “The Staircase,” starring Barbara Hershey and William Petersen.

Formerly a Roman Catholic Church serving the sisters of Loretto for their girls’ school, the church is now privately owned and used as a museum and a wedding chapel. A small entrance fee and profits from the gift shop help maintain the historic chapel.

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe: a Church or a Museum?

From its name, we know that Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe is a church. But what was a Roman Catholic church, now it is used as a museum and a wedding chapel.

Loretto Chapel is known for its unusual spiral staircase that has two 360 degrees turns and no visible means of support. It is also said that the staircase was built without nails, only wooden pegs.

The History of the Miraculous Staircase in Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel was built in 1878 without access to the choir loft twenty-two feet above. The Sisters of the Chapel asked carpenters around for solutions but all said it needed a ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior of this small Chapel. Then they made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.

On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. He started the work and completed the staircase to the choir loft. But the carpenter disappeared without pay and thanks once his work had done. The Sisters searched for the man with no trace, and some believed that he was St. Joseph the carpenter himself, having come in answer to the sisters’ prayers.

The Beautiful Loretto Chapel

Like most churches built in the 1800s, Loretto Chapel has a Gothic architecture style. When I walked into the chapel, I felt like I walked into one of the buildings in Gotham City. But peaceful was what I felt once inside the chapel.

The miraculous staircase stood magnificently at the back of the chapel. People lit candles and said their prayers. The stained glasses added a touch of beauty to this chapel. No wonder it’s one of the favorite places for a wedding. Even it doesn’t function as a church anymore, everybody kept their voices low to respect others who came for a quiet time.

Tips for visiting Loretto Chapel:

– Chapel may close without notice for special events call ahead to make sure it’s open.

– Visit when they just open to beat the crowd.

– You can only see the staircase you can’t climb it.

Loretto Chapel Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 9.30 am – 4.30 pm

Friday-Saturday: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm

Loretto Chapel admission fee: $5. Children 6 and under: Free.

Address: 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (505) 982-0092.

Wedding Information: Call (505) 982-0092. Email [email protected]

Next to the chapel is the museum store where you can find things like chapel souvenirs, rosaries, Christmas decorations with New Mexico design, home decorations, Christian jewelry, and other religious items.

A visit to Loretto Chapel doesn’t really take much of your time. You must check out this 50 things to do in Santa Fe to make your visit in town more fun and memorable.

Prairie Rose Publications

Within the well-preserved and quiet walls of Loretto Chapel in Santa Fé, New Mexico, is a staircase steeped in two mysteries that, for many people, have yet to be solved:

1. Who built the staircase?
2. How is its construction possible?

The Miraculous Staircase, as it is called, was built during a six-month period sometime between 1877 and 1881. To understand the story of the staircase, we must understand a little about the chapel’s history the vision of its founding the courage and determination of the people dedicated to its success and the unwavering faith of these pioneering spirits.

Loretto Chapel’s story begins in 1853 and ends in 1971 when it became a private museum for the primary reason of preserving the Miraculous Staircase and the chapel.

Here is the truncated version of the chapel’s history from the chapel’s website**:

*Bishop Jean Baptisite Lamy appointed to Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory.
*Bishop Lamy begins letter writing plea for priests, brothers and nuns to come out and help him.

*Sisters of Loretto send seven sisters from Kentucky.
*Sisters leave St. Louis and travel to Independence, Missouri.
*Encounter cholera epidemic, Mother Superior dies, and one nun is too ill to continue and returns.

1853 - 1873
*Sisters open Academy of Our Lady of Light (Loretto).
*From small school numbers to 300 students (girls) in a short period of time.
*Tuition, donations, and from the sisters own inheritances ($30,000) fund the school and chapel.
*Property is purchased, work on Loretto Chapel begins.
*School facilities cover a square block with 10 buildings.
*Architects from Paris design Loretto Chapel in the gothic style of King Louis IX's Sainte-Chapelle.

Loretto Chapel choir loft

*Stained glass is purchased in Paris, arrives by ship in New Orleans, goes by paddle boat to St. Louis, and then travels by covered wagon via Old Santa Fe Trail.

Loretto Chapel altar

*Chapel is completed.
*No access to the choir loft twenty-two feet above the main floor except by ladder.
*Due to limited space within the chapel, there isn’t room for a staircase.

Loretto Chapel staircase and confessional
*Staircase is built – without a railing.

According to the history on the Loretto Chapel website, the Miraculous Staircase is believed to have been constructed by St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters, who answered the sisters' prayers for a solution to the access problem to the choir loft, when he arrived at the chapel with a donkey and a toolbox, and said he was looking for work. When he finished the staircase, he disappeared, vanished, without payment or thanks.

Is the Miraculous Staircase a miracle or a hoax? To quote a line from 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'… When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

The 1998, made-for-television movie, 'The Staircase', stars Barbara Hershey as the mother superior and William Peterson as the mysterious carpenter. Yes, there's the Hollywood spin that fiddles with the facts, and the story is a little slow, but it’s still worth watching, even if you only watch it once.

The Miraculous Staircase of St. Joseph

A bit of history

After the United States&rsquo victory in the Mexican-American War, a vast piece of land in the Southwest was ceded in 1848 to America. The Spanish town, La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis (&ldquoThe Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi&rdquo), founded in 1610, became the capital of the state of New Mexico, with the new name of Santa Fe. It was then occupied by Indians, Mexicans and Spaniards.

Simultaneously, a young French-American priest stationed in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fr. Jean-Baptiste Lamy was appointed the bishop for this new acquired territory. When he arrived, many priests, resenting him as an interloper, decided to return to Mexico leaving the new diocese with a few priests and educators. In response, Bishop Lamy wrote pleas requesting priests, brothers and sisters for his diocese: &ldquoI have 6000 Catholics and 300 Americans&rdquo he explained! The first to accept his plea were the Sisters of Loretto.

Admirable Sisters

This young congregation, founded in 1812 by Fr. Charles Nerinckx under the name of &ldquothe Little Society of the Friends of Mary under the Cross of Jesus,&rdquo was the first order of sisters created in the United States. When they named their little log cabin &ldquoLittle Loretto&rdquo in honor of the Holy Family, they became known as the &ldquoLoretto Sisters&rdquo.

In 1852, 7 courageous sisters left the safe, secure and civilized state of Kentucky and began the arduous journey to Santa Fe.

Their trek was through St. Louis, then westward along the Missouri River to Independence, Missouri. The small group was beset by a cholera epidemic the superior, Mother Matilda died, while another sister was too ill and had to return to Kentucky. The remaining 5 continued their travel by wagon through bad weather and hostile Indians, a journey of several months that included struggles and fears, broken axles and wheels, sights of sun-bleached bones and scorching days.

Loretto Chapel

The sisters did not speak Spanish when they arrived nevertheless, supported by Bishop Lamy, they started the school the following year in 1853, &ldquofor the education of young ladies&rdquo. Through tuitions, donations, inheritances, and dowries from their families, they built the convent, chapel and school (titled the Loretto Academy of Our Lady of Light).

Bishop Lamy brought the architect Antoine Mouly from Paris to build his cathedral. As an architect, he had been involved in the renovation of the Ste. Chapelle in Paris, France in the early 1800s. When asked by the Loretto Sisters to design their chapel, he fashioned it in a beautiful Gothic style after the Ste. Chapelle.

Skilled craftsmen and artisans from France and Italy were brought to assist the qualified local builders for the bishop&rsquos cathedral. They also helped with the sister&rsquos chapel. The entire design and craftsmanship were executed majestically but not at a large expense the sisters could not afford.

A problem

The chapel was built with a choir loft but installing stairs was a problem. During the fourth year of the chapel&rsquos construction the sisters faced a dilemma. The school was growing with more students each year. A typical staircase would use too much floor space thereby limiting seating in the chapel. On another hand, using a ladder to ascend the loft would be terrifying and unfitting for the sisters and the girls. Mother Magdalen called in many carpenters to try to build a stairway but each, in his turn, measured, thought, and then shook his head sadly saying, &ldquoIt can&rsquot be done, Mother&rdquo (&ldquoNo se puede, Madrecita&rdquo).

These sisters though were ladies of great faith! They decided to entrust the difficulty to the one they had placed the construction of their chapel under: St. Joseph. So, sisters and students together began a 9-day novena to St. Joseph, asking for his intervention. It was not surprising therefore when on the 9th and final day of the novena, there appeared at the school an old, gray-haired and bearded man with a donkey and a tool chest a carpenter who offered to build the needed staircase. He was hired and proceeded to go to work.

Answer to a prayer

One would not pay an itinerant craftsman until after the job was completed. Mother Magdalen wrote she didn&rsquot even ask the name of the mysterious carpenter. During these times it was considered immodest for the sisters and the girls to carry on a conversation with a male laborer. They just remembered that the only tools he had were a hammer, a saw and a T square. And he worked during more than 6 months.[1] When the work was completed, Mother Magdalen went to pay him, but he had vanished. She went to the local lumber yard to pay at least for the wood, but they knew nothing of the matter there!

Wonder of construction

The winding stairway that St. Joseph left for the sisters and their students is a masterpiece of beauty and wonder. It makes two complete 360 degrees turns. There is no supporting pole up the center as most circular stairways have. This means that it hangs without support, and the transferred weight is solely on the base. Until now, no consensus among engineers having reached to give a scientific explanation.[2]

The short pieces of wood 3 to 5 feet in length were put together only with hundreds of square wooden pegs used with great precision and exceptional craftsmanship. There are no nails, screws nor glue. The assembled structured is comprised of approximately 93 pieces of wood divided amongst 10 for the outside stringer, 8 for the inside stringer, as well as 33 steps and 33 risers.

The perfection of the stringers&rsquo curves is baffling the wood is spliced along the sides of the stringers and each piece is perfectly curved.

Another mystery of this staircase was the type of wood used. Though the treads have been constantly walked on and were used daily by the sisters and children for over 100 years, nonetheless, only the edges show signs of wear. The wood also appears not to be native to the state of New Mexico, and is in fact, an unknown variety.[3]

When first built, the staircase had no banisters,[4] a feature that would not be added until 7 years later.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Holy Mother Church is always cautious about making statements concerning things of a supernatural nature. Though nothing definite has been said about the stairway, everyone is convinced that this was St. Joseph&rsquos answer to prayers. Devotees of Christ&rsquos Foster Father do not require the Church&rsquos official judgment to understand that the humble, silent, generous and exceptional craftsman was St. Joseph himself.

May he help us to ascend, through the imitation of the life of Jesus to the choir loft of Our Lady to sing eternally with the angels and the saints the eternal Sanctus to the Trinity!

1 One account tells the work was done very quickly.

2 Three major theories have sought to provide an explanation for the strength of the staircase:

  1. the double helix and the weight placed upon it could make it stronger
  2. the inside stringer, being of small diameter could be a load-bearing column
  3. the well-fitted square wooden pegs could create a virtual solid entity.

3 In 1996, after a 15-month study and wood analysis by Forrest N. Easley, a wood technologist for 40 years, it was concluded that the wood of the staircase is of an unknown origin. It is a spruce species but of a subspecies like no other. As stated by Mr. Easley, &ldquoNo other spruce has square shaped structured cells&rdquo. It is now named: Pinacae Picea Josefii Easley, or as a common name, Loretto Spruce.

4 Among the girls who attended the academy at the time the stairway was constructed was a girl of about 13 years. She later became a Loretto Sister, Sister Mary, and she never tired of telling how she and her friend were among the first to climb up the stairway. They were so frightened when they got up to the choir that they came down by crawling down backward or by &ldquobumping down on their bottoms&rdquo.

The World's Most Amazing Staircases

They say life isn't about the destination, but the journey—and that also seems to be true about these amazing staircases. Sure, your knees will probably want to stop bending and your feet will feel like they're going to fall off by the time you finish walking up most of these massive stair-filled walkways.

But when it means scaling a cliff without climbing gear or getting to see all of O'ahu while strolling across the top of a massive mountain range, you have to admit that the physical pain is worth the elevating experience you may never encounter again.

A few years ago, Miss Cellania rounded up the most amazing indoor staircases. Like these!

Hanging Spirals

This design makes sweeping under the stairs easy! A hanging double spiral staircase is part of the Didden Village project in Rotterdam. There are two such staircases the other is a single spiral.

Bookshelf Stairs

Levitate Architects of London designed this bookshelf staircase to combine storage space with access to a loft bedroom. The skylight above provides enough daylight to read a book while you sit on the stairs!

Staircase Drawers

Another way to use stairs for extra storage is to put drawers in the risers. That's a lot of drawers. When this design went around the internet, everyone loved it, but all I could think of was how my kids tend to leave drawers open, and how easy it would be to trip over one that was left even the slightest bit ajar.

Alternating Stairs

Gabriella Gustafson and Mattias Ståhlbom of TAF designed this unusual staircase for a private residence in Stockholm, Sweden. The alternating stair design takes up much less room than conventional stairs, but you cannot rush up or down without thinking about where you put your feet!

Step Up, Slide Down

Entrepreneur Scott Jones built a spiral staircase combined with a slide for his home. The mahogany slide took 15 months to build, and the spiral staircase was added afterward.

The Stairway as Art

Artist Olafur Eliasson created this steel sculpture called Umschreibung (Rewriting) in 2004 for the KPMG building in Munich.

Stairs to Nowhere

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, was built by Sarah L. Winchester, widow of the famous gun maker. The 160-room house was under constant construction for 38 years, until Winchester's death in 1922. She believed that the house was haunted by the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles, and only constant building would keep them from taking her life. One of the many strange features of the house is this staircase that leads straight to the ceiling!

The Miraculous Staircase

The helix staircase at Sisters of Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has legendary roots. The story goes that the chapel was built without access to the choir loft. There was no room for a normal staircase, so the sisters prayed to St. Joseph (the carpenter) for a solution. A mysterious man arrived, looking for work, and built the spiral staircase without a center support pole. He then left without being paid. The nuns believed the stranger to be St. Joseph himself. Later evidence points to the staircase as the work of French woodworker Francois-Jean Rochas. Some say the staircase is a miracle since it has no visible means of support, while others say the support is there, it's just hidden from view.

The Loretto Chapel Staircase Miracle

Two mysteries surround the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel:

1. The identity of its builder

2. The physics of its construction.

City of Santa Fé, in New Mexico, USA. A mystery of over 130 years and attracting around 250,000 visitors every year. Point of attention: Loretto Chapel.

What makes this chapel different from all others is that the subject of the supposed miracle that took place in it is a staircase.

A chapel was constructed somewhere in the 19th century. When it was ready, the nuns found that there was no staircase built to take them to the top level.

They spent 9 days praying to St. Joseph, who was a carpenter.

On the last day, a stranger knocked at their door and said that he was a carpenter who could help them build the staircase.

He constructed the staircase, all by himself, which was considered to be the pride of carpentery.

None knew how the staircase could stand by itself as it did not have a central support.

Then the carpenter, who did not use a single nail or glue to construct this staircase, disappeared without even waiting for his payment.

There was a rumour in the city of Santa Fé that the carpenter was St. Joseph himself, sent by Jesus Christ to attend to the nuns’ problem. Since then, the staircase was called “miraculous” and the site for pilgrimages.

There are three mysteries about this staircase, says the spokesman of the chapel. The first mystery is that, to this day, the identity of the builder is not known.

The second mystery is that the architects, engineers and scientists say that they cannot understand how this staircase can balance without any central support.

The third mystery is from where did the wood come? They have checked and found out that the type of wood used to build the staircase does not exist in the entire region.

There is another detail that has just increased the belief in the supposed miracle: The staircase has 33 steps, the age of Jesus Christ.

Fr. Michel Rodrigue explaines The Events of the End Times

Prophecies of Fr. Michel Rodrigue: Plagues, Economic collapse, Famine, Revolution, Martial law and World War III, World wide Warning/Enlightenment of Conscience, Antichrist, Refuges. Fr. Michele Rodrigue explains with great details and prepares us for the coming: Plagues, Economic Collapse, Famine, Insurrections, Martial Law, Church Schism, Enlightenment of Conscience, World War III, Refuges, Antichrist.

Messages of Holy Love

Great manifestations in the sky are about to take place

Run, run, to put your accounts in order because the day of my Warning is drawing near! Great and.

Open Calyxes

Yes, children, I wish you a good morning, the first in a long series, but always short in.

Mother of God: Pray, men rise up against their governments, generating more reprisals

April 8 2017: The biggest volcanoes are waking up and causing the fire cradled in the bowels of the.

Signs From Above

Businessman who saw Mary Also had encounter with archangel Michael

Angels watching over unborn babies in sonograms

The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, 730-750 AD, Italy

Picture of Baptism: Water takes the shape of the Rosary

Jesus on the cross appears in sonogram

Tears of Blood from The Statue of the Virgin Mary (Paraguay)

Girl possessed by evil spirit screams at apparition of Our Lady in Medjugorje

End Times Signs: 7 TRUMP-ets, Jericho-NWO, Virgo-Maria

Help the Souls in Purgatory

Say often this short prayer: "Mother of God, Coredemptrix of the world, pray for us"

Important Read .

Apocalypse Revealed: Celestial Arithmetic

Your debauchery will be your eternal condemnation

No more closed Temples nor more communions in the hand

Parents, control the use of technology in your homes

No Tattoos, Piercings, Implants, Surgeries for vanity

Abstain to buy 5G technology

Prophecy of Fr. Michel Rodrigue about the two popes

I protect all those who wear my Medal around their neck


Save your soul: “I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments My Divine heart shall be their . My devotees of My Five First Saturdays of the month will be preserved from disasters and accidents, violent deaths, painful death, a long purification Download and Pray the Magnificent Promises to Saint Brigit of Sweden. Spread the invitation of the Lord to your loved ones. Nothing that is transitory on earth deserves your ambition. Your soul is your true treasure of eternal and infinite value. Save your soul Download and Pray the Magnificent Promises of the 12 Years Prayers to Saint Brigit of Sweden. Spread the invitation of the Lord to your loved ones. Nothing that is transitory on earth deserves your ambition. Your soul is your true treasure of eternal and infinite value.

Avoid the desecration of the Holy Eucharist

No more of extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, no more of Communions in the hand!

"Children of My Heart, the Peace of the Lord be with you all. My little ones, many blasphemies are being committed with the Holy Eucharist. My Son is reviled in His Divinity through the impure and unworthy hands of My lay children. As mother of the son of God and Mother of humanity, I ask My beloved children, to put an end to this abomination! No more of extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, no more of Communions in the hand! The Body and Blood of my Son, are outraged by many lay people who give themselves tasks that belong only to priests and other consecrated Ministers such as: the Pope, the Cardinals and Bishops. No hand that has not been consecrated through the ministerial Priesthood, can touch My Son. " (Read full message) John Paul II:"I cannot be in favor of the Communion in the hand and I cannot recommend it. The priest has a primordial responsibility as a 'servant of the Holy Eucharist and of all the Holy Forms', primordial because it is complete. Touching the Holy Creations is a privilege of the ordained ones"(Dominicae Cenae II) "Communion in the hand was introduced by the modernist hierarchy without the authorization of the Holy See (Cardinal Suenens in Holland etc). Paul VI tenaciously opposed it but decided to grant a pardon only where the use was already rooted to avoid a widespread disobedience.” Monsignor Juan Rodolfo Laise, Argentine Bishop, he states: "I know the history of the communion in the hand, was clandestinely reintroduced, disseminated on the basis of equivocation, and confirmed through unwavering disobediences. (to the Holy Father), by imposing over twenty-seven years a use that the Pope did not want to authorize because he considered as dangerous for the good of the Church, until they finally managed to spread it almost everywhere in the world." Jesus to Catalina Rivas, (stigmatized seer. Nihil obstat by Msgr. R. Fernández, Bolivian Archbishop:"There are neither 10 nor 20 executioners who hit My Body, but many hands that hurt My Body by receiving Communion in their hand - the sacrilegious work of Satan."
  1. "To those who DO NOT receive in their HAND My Own Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, I promise to fill them with My Blessings in their hands, heart, soul and in all their being.
  2. I promise them many more graces in their earthly life, and the consequent greatest guarantees of salvation and increase of essential and accidental Glory, for all their eternal living with Me in Heaven.
  3. They will feel Me in the Communion a lot in all their being and, with such a fullness that they will take away from themselves their natural desire to touch Me. These ones will always do a greater good to the souls on the other hand, those who insist on taking Me in their hand, will remain hardened in many things toward My Will, and obscured about My Own Taste, My Own Preaching, and My Own Magisterium.”
Jesus to Giuliana Crescio, December 1989:"I do not wish to be taken into your hands. I don't want to be taken into your hands! I, the Living Bread, the Living Blood, that Blood shed for you, I am the Bread, but for your soul. I gave the Apostles bread, you are not priests, you cannot touch Me!"Some souls of Purgatory tell Maria Simma (seer of the souls) that the sin for which they have to suffer the most is because they have received Communion in their hand. Mary explains: under normal conditions, only the consecrated hands of priests can distribute Communion. Except in "extraordinary circumstances". "Extraordinary" does not refer to the difference between the faithful having to wait two minutes instead of ten to receive Communion. (Today lay people or priests are in a hurry for everything) One day, a woman who distributed Communion, urged other women to do the same, she passed away. Before the funeral, the coffin was open for family and friends to give the last salute. Then it was closed. However, a close relative arrived late and asked the priest to open it so that he could also say goodbye to the deceased. The priest lifted the cover of the coffin and looked inside. Several saw that the woman's hands had turned black. This sign, for me, as for the rest, was God's confirmation that unconsecrated hands cannot distribute Jesus during Communion."1976 (Un-corrupted). When this 16-year-old girl from a pious German family was suddenly afflicted by demonic possession, the demon (during an exorcism ordered by the local bishop) was forced to say: "The thing(the Consecrated Host)should not be placed in the hands. Priests must have courage. Lay people should not distribute it. During the distribution of that thing(the Holy Communion), you must kneel. By command of that one(pointing to a statue of the Virgin that was nearby)the Communion in the hand must be abolished because it is a work of mine. The bishop must forbid Communion in his hand, if he can do it."


"If you knew, how you shine after having properly approached the Sacrament of Confession. As He (Jesus) is in the Confessional and where He listens to every word, sees in every corner of your heart and He is longing to bestow the Graces inherent to His forgiveness. My children, while My Son is truly present hidden behind the person of the Priest Confessor, equally real is the Grace of Absolution and of Forgiveness from the Lord." —— Maria, Mother of Jesus"


Avoid Sacrileges AT CHURCH - Dress Properly in God's House

“The church is God's house. It is forbidden for men to enter here with bare arms and wearing shorts. It is forbidden for women to enter wearing trousers, bare headed, with short, low-necked or sleeveless dresses." —Sant Pio of Pietrelcina

Dress Properly the Day of your Wedding

Protect your home with the Holy Family for the incoming Tribulation

Important Message of God the Father: "I recommend (translation) that every family, who receives this message, should have a representation of the Holy Family in their home. It can be an Icon or a statue of the Holy Family, or a permanent Manger in a center place in the home. The representation must be blessed and consecrated by a priest. As the star, followed by the Wise men, stopped over the Manger, the chastisement from the sky will not hit the Christians families devoted and protected by the Holy Family. [. ] Send this message to everyone. I have given Saint Joseph [. ] the authority to protect the Church which is the body of Christ. He will be the protector during the trials of this time. The Immaculate Heart of My daughter Mary and the Sacred Heart of my Beloved Son Jesus, with the Chaste and Pure Heart of Saint Joseph, will be the shield of your home, your family, and your Refuge during the events to come." —Tuesday, October 30, 2018, message to Fr. Michel Rodrigue

Parents, be very attentive with your children

"Parents, be very attentive of your children as my adversary wants to destroy families. Be very careful with what your children see, read, listen and play. I tell you this because the instruments of Evil, are using technology to slowly poisoning young souls through games, music, movies, videos, TV shows and literature loaded with subliminal messages that are driving many to spiritual and even physical death." —Maria Mother of Jesus

Do not Put Tattoo Marks on Yourselves (Leviticus 19,28)

"My children, to tattoo your bodies is a pagan practice that goes against God's Holy Word which reads: Do not lacerate your bodies for the dead, and do not tattoo yourselves (Leviticus 19,28). Remember that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and you should not defile, destroy or burn it. I remind you that all those body markings come from my adversary and are evil instruments that only seek to defile God's creation and take you away from the path of salvation." —Maria Mother of Jesus

NO game where one requests information from the afterlife is good

"My children, playing ghosts, charlie – charlie, or scissors and spiral notepad are the same as playing ouija. It is same as opening your soul's doors so that my adversary and his demons can enter and possess you. NO game where one requests information from the afterlife is good. Don't think that by invoking the souls of your departed loved ones it will be them who will come responding to your call. I tell you that by doing this what you are opening are the doors of Hell. You know very well that my adversary is astute and disguises as an Angel of light to mislead you in order to take your soul. Many children and young adults are being trapped by my adversary by playing games where they request information and assistance form occult sources. My little children, when playing those apparently innocent games what you are really doing is opening your soul to my adversary so that he may possess you."Maria Mother of Jesus

Parents, pay much attention to the video games your children play

"My little children, when playing those apparently innocent games what you are really doing is opening your soul to my adversary so that he may possess you. Parents, pay much attention to the video games that your children play as many of them are filled with occult rituals and actions with the sole purpose of opening the minds of your children and youth to violence, trespassing, sex, drugs, homosexuality, prostitution and murder."Maria Mother of Jesus

Pay attention to the cartoons that your children watch

"[Parents] pay attention to the cartoons that your children watch as many are loaded with subliminal messages of violence, sex and all other sins of the flesh that will lead your children to lose their moral and spiritual values, and the saddest of all: the distancing from God and family. Awaken from your passiveness parents! Don't continue to be so permissive with your children. Remember that you are living in times of darkness and must be attentive with all that your children see, play read and listen. This so that tomorrow you won’t regret their misbehavior, and worse losing their souls." —Maria Mother of Jesus

Pray My Holy Rosary with your children, as the family that prays together stays together

"Parents, correct the ways if your family, have much dialogue with your children, make time to listen to them as many homes are being lost due to lack of love, dialogue, understanding and most specially for not inviting God. Take God back into your homes, pray my Holy Rosary, as the family that prays together stays together" —Maria Mother of Jesus

Act of Consecration
to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

O Sacred Heart of Jesus
who made known to St. Margaret Mary
Your great desire to reign over Christian families
we are gathered here today
to proclaim Your complete dominion over our family.
From now on we promise to lead a Christlike life:
we will strive to develop in our home
all the virtues which bring with them the peace that You promised
and we will not compromise with the spirit of secularism
which You have so strongly denounced.

You will rule over our minds through our deep and living faith.
You will be King of our hearts by our generous love for You
and we will cultivate this love
by the frequent reception of You in Holy Communion.

Divine Heart of Jesus,
preside over our family gatherings
bless all our family undertakings, both spiritual and temporal.
Sanctify our joys and comfort us in our sorrows.
If any member of our family should have the misfortune to offend You seriously,
please remind him, O Sacred Heart of Jesus,
of Your infinite love and mercy for the penitent sinner.

And when the hour of separation comes,
when death brings its sorrows into our family,
whether we go or whether we stay,
we humbly accept Your divine will.
At the same time we will console and comfort ourselves with the thought
that the time will come when our whole family
will be united lovingly with You in heaven forever.
There we shall sing a hymn of praise
to the infinite mercy and love of Your Sacred Heart.

We ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary and our glorious protector,
St. Joseph, to offer You this family consecration of ours.
May the memory of this consecration be with us always.

We will say one
Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be
for the intentions of the Holy Father
and for absent members, living and dead.

Act of Consecration
to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

0 Virgin Mary, most powerful Mother of Mercy,
Queen of Heaven and earth,
in accordance with your wish made known at Fatima,
I consecrate myself today to your Immaculate Heart.
To you I entrust all that I have, all that I am.
Reign over me, dearest Mother,
that I may be yours in prosperity,
in adversity, in joy and in sorrow,
in health and in sickness, in life and in death.

Most compassionate Heart of Mary,
Queen of Virgins, watch over my mind and heart
and preserve me from the deluge of impurity
which you lamented so sorrowfully at Fatima.
I want to be pure like you.
I want to atone for the many crimes committed against Jesus and you.
I want to call down upon this country
and the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.

Mindful of this consecration,
I now promise to strive to imitate you
by the practice of the Christian virtues
without regard for human respect.
I resolve to receive Holy Communion
on the first Saturday of every month when possible,
and to offer daily five decades of the Rosary,
with all my sacrifices in the spirit of penance and reparation. Amen.

I, . . ., a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy Heart,
O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism
I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works
and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ,
the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life,
and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary,
in the presence of all the heavenly court,
I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress.
I deliver and consecrate to thee, and to thy Immaculate Heart,
as thy child and slave of love, my body and soul,
my goods, both interior and exterior,
and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future
leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me,
and all that belongs to me,
without exception, according to thy good pleasure,
for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity. Amen.

Watch the video: The Loretto Chapel Staircase Miracle (December 2022).