Inspired by the prayers of a 19th century English devotee of Our Lady of Lourdes, this monumental church, reputedly the fifth largest in London, became the first in the world to have one distinct chapel with its own altar and a beautiful artistic altarpiece for each of the Fifteen Traditional Mysteries of the Rosary; a devotion which is promoted by the Dominican friars.
Here, one can pray the stational Rosary, processing from one chapel to the next as one progresses through the Mysteries of the Rosary. In total there are 17 chapels, 20 altars, and a great Sanctuary with an Adoration Throne that surmounts the High Altar, choir stalls carved in Belgium, and behind the gleaming Lady Chapel, there's a beautiful garden for the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary, with a uniquely commissioned statue from a Florentine sculptor of Our Lady of Cana.
The church, too, is filled with unique statuary, vibrant stained glass that spans over a hundred years, gilded walls, carved and painted angels, oil paintings of the Stations of the Cross and the death of St Dominic, family monuments such as the Fortescue monument, and a memorial for the Great War inscribed by Eric Gill.
This great Victorian church is a testimony to the ambition and faith of 19th century Catholics, and it stands as a visible sign of the power of the humble prayer of the Rosary to move and inspire us even today.
Enjoy a virtual tour here: