By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The Association for the Arch of Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary unveiled new architectural plans today for the pro-life shrine which, when completed, will be the world’s tallest monument.
In a press release appearing on the Christian Newswire, the Association announced that the new plans for the 700 foot tall monument, to be built in Buffalo, New York, will be “built according to high standards of architectural beauty and integrity.”
“Mary’s Arch of Triumph will point towards the ‘fundamental transformation’ that America and the world truly need–a change of hearts and minds, more than of laws,” the release said. “It will sound a global signal call to repentance and conversion, renewed faith in God, and respect for human life from conception to natural death.”
The Arch is the life’s work of the Association’s executive director, Laurence Behr, who says the idea came to him in a dream. During a 2001 interview on EWTN Global Catholic Radio, he said he had been reading an article about the pastoral importance of shrines before going to bed the night he had the dream. In it, he saw “a church in a beautiful green setting with a golden statue of Mary set in a niche.” As he approached the statue, a woman came up to him and said, “This is the shrine of the Golden Arch of St. Mary.”
When he woke up, he wondered “why an arch?” Then it occurred to him that Our Lady “is the Gate of Heaven because Christ entered through her and an arch is a gate.”
He wondered what kind of arch would be a fitting tribute to the Mother of God, and began talking to architects and potential donors. Before long, the project gained world-wide support among the faithful, including many pro-life leaders such Fr. Frank Pavone, Fr. John Corapi, Mrs. Judie Brown, Dr. John Willke, and Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
”The project evokes Mary’s revelations at Fatima on July 13, 1917, ‘God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart,’ and that, ‘In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph . . . and an era of peace will be granted to the world,’” the release explains.
“This great arch hails this coming triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart. It will be 700 feet tall because seven is the biblical number of perfection, and Mary represents the perfection of humanity because of her humble obedience to God. Mary is revered also by Muslims, who believe in Mary’s perpetual virginity; indeed, Mohammed said that Mary enjoys the highest place in heaven of all women.”
The project comes with a high price tag – anywhere from $85 to $100 million – and will be constructed somewhere within the confines of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York.
“Mary’s glorious Arch of Triumph of is destined quickly to become an international icon, boldly though silently proclaiming the dignity and sanctity of human life, born and unborn, and extolling the oft-neglected virtues of purity, faith and obedience to God.”
To view the new plans, visit http://www.archoftriumph.org/archdesign.html
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