Shrine of Our Lady of Peace

    After the Wise Men had 
departed, did the Christmas Star
come to rest in the Heart of our 
      Mother Mary?  Or is the 
   brilliance shining from Her
 Heart a reflection of Jesus Who
dwells,  there?  He wants to share 
     Her sinless Heart with us.

     "Dear Mother Mary, pour the 
   love of your Heart into my heart."

       Reverend John J. Sweeny

Take a little time to learn more about the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace

Learn more about the Shrine
Learn more about the Statue
The Dedication Ceremony
Why California?
A message from the Director

The Shrine

Father John Sweeny and the Parish Community of Our Lady of Peace welcome you to this Shrine in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We invite you to join with us in honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the first disciple of jesus, she shows us what it means to live by faith. She pondered God's Word in her heart and translated that Word into action in her life.

In a pastoral letter to all the faithful, the bishops of the United States urge us to "call upon Mary, the first disciple and the Queen of Peace, to intercede for us and for the people of our time, that we may walk in the way of peace."

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a symbol of her loving concern for all of us, and a reminder that we can turn to Mary with great confidence in her powerful intercession.

Above all we look to Mary to lead us to Jesus, who is the Light of the World.

May your time of prayer and reflection here bring you a greater experience of peace in your own life, and enable you to share that peace with all those whose lives you touch.

We hope you will come often to the Shrine to pray. You are welcome at any time to pray personally or with groups.

From all parts of the world people have contributed to the Shrine by their prayer and financial support. The development and maintenance of the Shrine depend upon the continuance of these gifts.

Contributions may be made at the Shrine, or sent to:
Shrine of Our Lady of Peace
2800 Mission College Boulevard
Santa Clara, California 95054
(408) 988-8908

The Statue

In August of 1980, Father John Sweeny, pastor of Our Lady of Peace Church in Santa Clara, California, fulfilled a long-time desire to give special honor to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That month, he commissioned noted sculptor Charles C. Parks, a noted sculptor, of Wilmington, Delaware, to design a 32-foot stainless steel statue of Our Lady, under this title. Thus began a remarkable odyssey, of a truly extraordinary image of the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God. After several models, the masterpiece was begun.

The statue which some have called "the awesome Madonna," was finished in the Summer of 1982. It stands higher than most three-story buildings. The 7200-pound statue rises to a height of thirty-two feet and rests on a twelve-foot landscaped mound. The head, hands, and feet are cast in stainless steel. The gown is constructed of welded strips of stainless steel.

After completion in the artist's Wilmington, Delaware, studio in 1982, the statue was exhibited in Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Chicago en route to its permanent location.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Peace was dedicated on October 7, 1983, by Most Reverend Pierre DuMaine, Bishop of San Jose. A hand-illuminated papal blessing was presented to the Shrine on that occasion.

Dedication Ceremony

The statue was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Pierre DuMaine of the Diocese of San Jose, in which Santa Clara is located. The ceremony took place on October 7,1983, Feast of the Most Holy Rosary. Father Sweeny considers the date significant, because it was the15th anniversary of the beginning of allnight vigils, in his parish, on the First Fridays of each month concluding with Holy Mass at 5:30 A.M. the next morning.

Pope John Paul II sent a special blessing for the dedication ceremony. During the three days of October 7th to 9th, there were religous and civic ceremonies and public acknowledgements at the foot of the statue. At the final service, on Sunday, October 9th, Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., of the Family Rosary Crusade, gave the homily.

Why California?

The new Shrine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at Our Lady of Peace Church in Santa Clara, is the only major Marian Shrine on the West Coast; between Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine in Portland, Oregon, (over 700 miles to the north), and the famous Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico city, (over 2,300 miles to the south).

A message from the Director

Many remedies have been suggested for the confusion and anguish of our present world. Seldom do these remedies invoke a firm faith in God.

Why not a forthright expression of the faith that opens people's minds to an understanding of what God expects of them in this world?

To awaken, increase and preserve faith in people's hearts, to help them gain the peace of soul that leads to peace among men, we have chosen to build a Shrine to Our Lady of Peace depicting the love and compassion of her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

We want the Shrine to be a beautiful tribute to the Mother of Our Lord. We want all to recognize in her likeness their loving Mother, who reaches out to embrace her children and invite them to approach her ever more closely.

We believe that the Shrine can be fruitful with the help of all who love the Mother of God-become-Man--by prayer, especially the Rosary, and by the Sacrifices necessary to save souls.

As we grow in intimacy with the pure Heart of Mary, we will find our hearts being filled with love for her and we will begin to love Our Lord as she loved Him. As people grow in intimacy with the pure heart of Mary, they find their love for God is greater. To Jesus through Mary.

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