I saw this expressive stature of Mary and Jesus at Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseilles. This church is atop a hill overlooking the harbor and is dedicated to “Our lady of the Watch” – the traditional guardian of seafarers. The church with its gilded statue of Mary and Infant Jesus dominates the skyline of Marseilles. Its interiors are covered with offerrings from devotees – most prominently model ships. 

The island barely visible in the background is Chateau D’lf – the island prison made famous in the Alexandre Dumas’ novel – The Count of Monte Cristo. You can visit the old island prison by boat on days when the water in the bay is not choppy.

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