The Merciful Love Labyrinth was constructed in the spring of 2001. Just as the Chapel builders had done in the 1930's to provide rocks for the Shrine Chapel, Stations of the Cross and other building foundations as a labor of love, volunteers of all ages carried stones from the beach nearby for constructing the Merciful Love Labyrinth.
The Shrine's Merciful Love labyrinth, laid out in patterns of concentric rings similar to the labyrinth found at Chartres, France, provides individuals of all faiths an opportunity to enter into a sacred spiritual experience. Some people equate the labyrinth with a maze, but they are really quite different. Labyrinths, symbols of the single path to the sacred center, have no confusing dead ends or false pathways; mazes, on the other hand, have many paths, purposely designed to confuse and dupe the person navigating them. As Janis Burns Buyarski shares, “Labyrinths are part of the mystical tradition which looks for a direct connection to the Divine. It is a part of the ‘kinetic knowing’, of praying through moving the body…In a time when many people are seeking ways to integrate psychology with spirituality, the labyrinth creates a safe, open space where the inner and outer meet and become one… Labyrinths are symbols of the path to the sacred center, and a metaphor for the human journey of life.”
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, our Shrine patron saint, came to know the truth of the “merciful love” God has for his creation. She knew this merciful love from God was an invitation to allow the love of God to flow through her into the lives of others.