When you travel to Chicago, take time to tour the beautiful churches and Cathedral. I recently visited the “New” St. Peter’s Catholic Church located at 110 W. Madison.
Old Saint Peter‘s was originally on the west side of Chicago at Clark and Polk Streets.
This beautiful church is located in Chicago’s Loop Neighborhood. The Chicago loop area includes many early classic skyscrapers of the Chicago School of Architecture including Burnham and Root‘s Monadnock and the Reliance Buildings.
The facade of the church is dominated by a large crucifix. The crucifix was designed by Latvian sculptor Arvid Strauss and executed by Chicago artist J. Watts. It is called “Christ of the Loop.”
The Crucifix highlights the Gothic arch in the center of the main marble facade. The 18-foot, 26-ton Georgia pink marble sculpture was commissioned in 1950 by the Franciscan Fathers, Brothers and Benefactors of the religious order of the church.The current building was erected in 1953. The building is situated amongst the city’s landmark skyscrapers. St. Peter’s is staffed by Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who live above the church.
The cross is positioned in front of a stained glass window dedicated to Mary, Queen of Peace. The window in front of the crucifix is the only window in the church. The walls inside the church are covered with 10 recessed marble panels depicting the life of St. Francis. There is a beautiful statue of St. Francis of Assisi with his beloved animals in the church.
There is an interesting display case in the basement of the church. I was captivated by the intricate hand-carved mother-of-pearl (also known as nacre) rendering of the Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper“. This icon is from the Holy Land.
The “Last Supper” resides on the lower right side of the display case. It is so delicate and beautiful.
This material is used extensively for this type of creative art in the Holy Land. The beautiful “Last Supper” icon was displayed at the World’s Fair in 1933.
The Church is run by the dedicated Franciscan Friars. Observe the church panels on the walls, they tell the story of St. Francis.
Here are some of the stories associated with the panels:
“The tiny chapel of St. Mary of the Angels below Assisi was a gift from the Benedictines to Francis. He rebuilt the chapel in 1210, claimed it as the womb of the Order, received Clare there and chose to die on the floor in 1226.”
“It was from this holy place that Francis, as did Jesus, sent the friars out by two on mission to announce to all peace and repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
In 1223, Francis gathered the people who lived in the village of Greccio Italy into a mountain cave at midnight on Christmas Eve. They acted out the story of the birth of Christ, with Francis singing from the Gospel of Luke. On this day, Francis of Assisi began the tradition of the Christmas creche.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com
- Silent Night Holy Night: A Vatican Christmas (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Assisi – Birthplace of St. Francis (greatmentor.net)
- Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America (laurieslane.com)
- Andersonville’s St. Lucia Festival of Lights in Chicago (vinoconvistablog.me)
- Assisi, the City of Peace (iriscapes.wordpress.com)
- Saint Peter in Chains (cardinalsblog.adw.org)
- Santa Maria in Traspontina sits on the site of an Ancient Pyramid in Rome(vinoconvistablog.me)