Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament
The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, informally known as OLAM Shrine, is a prominent Roman Catholic Latin Rite shrine located in Hanceville, Alabama, United States. Adjacent is the cloistered Monastery of Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration, situated on a 400-acre site and is a religious center affiliated with the Eternal Word Television Network.
The shrine is notable for its gilt interior, solemn atmosphere, and oversize solar monstrance. The shrine is named in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, while the building surroundings are dedicated to the Divino Niño, a title of the Child Jesus found prominently displayed all over the area. Its foundress, Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation currently resides at the cloistered monastery with her group of nuns.
In December 1999, Mother Angelica and her group of sisters moved from Irondale, Alabama to the site, while looking for a place to settle. The 300-acre lot was purchased from an elderly woman and her children. Five wealthy benefactors joined and paid for the original price of the property, along with its construction costs and materials.
Mother Angelica desired to build a shrine similar to 13th century Italian architecture, with its piazza or plaza square, colonnade, esplanade and various cosmatesque designs from the same period. She justified that other beautiful secular buildings are made at great cost, and so should be for the "House and Temple of God". Mother Angelica also wanted to construct the building using various materials found all over world. Mother Angelica wanted the carrara marble, gold leaf, and cedar wood. The ceramic tile came from South America, while the stones are from Canada, and the bronze from Madrid, Spain. The floors, columns, and pillars are also made of marble. There is a rare red Jasper marble from Turkey that was used for the red crosses in the floor of the temple. The wood for the pews, doors, and confessionals were from cedar imported from Paraguay. Spanish workers came to build the doors. The stain glass windows were imported from Munich, Germany. The stations of the Cross were hand-carved.
A statue of the El Divino Niño is featured prominently one on the side altar of the shrine, as well as a large statue of the child Jesus holding a heart at his palm stands at the plaza square. On the liturgical feast day of Infant Jesus of Prague, a balloon is customarily tied to his wrist.
In 2004, a storm struck the area, causing the church cross to be damaged. Initially, Mother Angelica accused the Devil as to the reason why the damage occurred. Later on, Mother Angelica and various pilgrims associated the cross with the Tau cross. The damaged remains of the top part of the cross were installed on one of the side hallways of the shrine. Another notable statue in the shrine is a grotesque, overly whipped Jesus Christ, symbolic of his pain and suffering at the cross.
Perpetual Adoration over a 24-hour period is observed by rotating nuns at the shrine. A dress code is enforced in the shrine, banning sexually-inciting clothing, as well as mini-skirts, shorts, tank tops, or sleeveless shirts for pilgrims who come and visit. There are also two renovated barns reserved for the male friars who serve as custodians of the shrine, and a religious gift shop to accommodate the pilgrims.
- EWTN: Video Tour 2008
- "Eucharistic pilgrimage to EWTN and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament".
- "Activities on your pilgrimage to EWTN". Retrieved January 23, 2013.
- "PDF file on Shrine activities for pilgrims". Retrieved January 23, 2013.
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