Build me a temple…
and I will help those who help you. These were the words spoken to Mother Angelica by the Divine Child Jesus while she was on a business trip in South America for EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).
Upon her return to Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, she told the other nuns of the miraculous vision and they immediately set forth looking for the land. After several months of searching, they found an isolated piece of farmland, nearly surrounded by a river, in Hanceville, AL. Mother Angelica said that from the first moment she arrived, she “felt the Presence of God very strongly.”
However, the nuns had no money to build and they never tried to raise money for the cause. they simply trusted in the Divine Providence of God. They were not disappointed when, through God’s providence, five families came forth to financially assist with the building of the Shrine.
The construction of the Shrine took place during the three years of preparation for the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. It was a huge undertaking, involving expert artisans from all over the world and materials such as limestone, marble, granite, bronze, and gold which were incorporated in the Franciscan-style Temple.
Mother Angelica describes her own experience in building the Temple: “It’s unbelievable to me that, when our dear Lord asked for a Temple, and said that He would take care of those who helped us, I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would be so beautiful. At every turn He would change it. It got bigger and bigger and more and more beautiful. We were going to put just ordinary floor tile in the Church; He guided us to put in marble. In every possible way He intercepted some of our ideas, and we could see what He wanted.”
“And so this is truly a Church that God has built – a real Temple, a place where people can come and find rest for their souls, renewal for their faith, and an opportunity to receive the grace and peace, the forgiveness and mercy that only God can give.”