of the Most Blessed Sacrament, which would become one of the most important pilgrimage centers of the United States, was consecrated in 1999. Mother Angelica, the charismatic American nun, who also founded the Catholic Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), set herself the task of building this church. Building’s architecture is inspired by the Italian Romanesque style, in particular the St. Francis Basilica of Assisi. The church is surrounded by a complex of buildings dedicated to the Divine Child, including the Our Lady of the Angels Monastery of the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration.
The interior of the church was entirely designed and furnished by GRANDA. Given its magnificence and solemnity, it has a profound impact on worshippers and pilgrims who visit it. Dedicated to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the design and iconography of the interior revolve around the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
is a pilgrimage center, which receives a massive influx of visitors, it has a good number of confessionals. They are large in size and they also recreate the Gothic style, though finished in
darkened wood. As a result, even if they are aesthetically related to the altar and the interior decoration, they do not take center stage.
A large neo-Gothic altarpiece,
made of wood and completely gilded, floods the senses of worshippers. A magnificent 7.5 foot monstrance, where the Blessed Sacrament is placed, is located in the most prominent position towards the summit of the altarpiece. The monstrance is visible both from the central nave and from the cloister because the main altarpiece is two-sided. The nuns take turns in perpetual adoration and the monstrance is always exposed on their side.
In the center of the altarpiece and below the monstrance is a large golden tabernacle crafted in a style of Gothic architecture, reminiscent of the great European cathedrals. Made of different types of marble, the altar is decorated on the front with the Christian symbol of the Holy Pelican.
The lateral altarpieces
reproduce the architecture through arches, batons, and pinnacles of the main altarpiece, recreating a refined Gothic style. One of them is dedicated to the Miraculous Virgin, and the other to the Divine Child,
in line with the iconography of this dedication in Colombia. Devotion to the Divine Child is deeply rooted in Colombia, and has a deep meaning in this church; it was before that image in Bogotá where Mother Angelica received divine inspiration to build the Shrine.
The Way of the Cross
consists of a set of vivid polychrome reliefs, in the form of a tondo, framed in a gilded square frame and topped with a cross. These frames
echo shape of the frames used on the scenes of the church doors. In line with their style and inspiration, the reliefs follow a classical realistic style, evoking the restrained and solemn Renaissance art.
made the entirety of the liturgical trousseau, including both gold and silverware pieces and textile elements such as linens and vestments for the priests. The most prominent piece is the monstrance, which is 7.5 feet tall and with a prominent sunburst luna frame. The large tabernacle is inspired by the Medieval Eucharistic caskets, although its shape emulates later Gothic cathedrals. Its golden architecture reproduces details of the altarpiece in the center of which it is installed,
thus drawing a beautiful parallel between the church and the tabernacle as a church and the house of God, a traditional going back to the typological stories of the Old Testament. The central pinnacle echoes the monstrance, surrounded by adoring angels, as in the altarpiece. The chalice and ciborium set are a custom design that also reproduce Gothic decorative motifs, enriched with enamels depicting the magnificent monstrance and the Divine Child.
Are you interested in this project?
At Granda we seek to encourage devotion. Personalising each piece and giving unity to all the elements helps to inculturation, to transmit the message and to move the devotion of the faithful.
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