The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament

July 24, 2017  •  1 Comment

I recently had a rare opportunity to photograph the sanctuary and crypt at The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

It was my first time to visit the 400 acre monastery and I was in awe of the architecture and the attention to detail throughout the property. 

Mother Angelica was inspired to build this shrine after a trip to Columbia in the late 1990's. Private donors contributed the land and millions of dollars to help fulfill her vision. The Shrine consists of "Our Lady of Angels" Cloistered Monastery, the Upper and Lower church, Lourdes Grotto, Castle San Miguel - which houses the gift shop - and John Paul II Eucharistic Center (open for tours Mon-Sat 10am and 2pm). Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation lived here with her fellow Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration until her death in March 2016.

 

Our first stop was the small, cave-like devotional chapel called the Creche. Inside is a life-size nativity scene, beautiful votive candles and Holy Water spigots.

Our group met in the piazza so we could all enter the Temple of the Divine Child together. The weather was hot that day, so we enjoyed the breeze inside the colonnade while we waited.

At the end of this colonnade is a larger-than-life Crucifix.

 

Photography inside the temple is strictly prohibited, so it was a privilege to be among the small group of photographers allowed to participate in this extraordinary opportunity. 

Divine Office (prayer with the nuns) is held here four times a day and is open to the public.

Every detail of the temple is extensive -- marble floors with inlaid crosses made of jasper, vaulted ceilings, 24 carat gold-leaf on the Tabernacle, ornate stained glass windows, and elaborate wood work. Most of the materials were imported from all over the world. 

We were also allowed to access and photograph the Lower Crypt Church. It houses the crypts of the deceased nuns of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery - including Mother Angelica.

Photos do not capture the peaceful atmosphere this place exhibits. I recommend anyone to experience its beauty and grandeur for yourself. 

 

If you plan to visit The Shrine, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  - A dress code is enforced inside the Upper and Lower Churches (no tank tops or clothing above the knee)

  - Photography is not permitted inside the sanctuary and/or crypt, but pictures are welcome anywhere else on the grounds.

   - Silence is expected while in the Upper and Lower church out of respect for those in prayer.

   - The nuns live a cloistered life, separated from the public, so you will not see them.

 

 

 


Comments

anne reeder(non-registered)
Jesus on the cross takes my breathe away. How He must have suffered.
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