The “New” Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Chicago’s Loop

Facade of St. Peter‘s in Chicago

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.

Saint Peter‘s Church Chicago

Doors of St. Peter’s in Chicago

Old Saint Peter‘s was originally on the west side of Chicago at Clark and Polk Streets.

Cornerstone from Old Saint Peter’s Church

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.”

St. Peter’s in Chicago

A vintage photo of Old St. Peter’s in Chicago

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.

Saint Francis

 

Michelangelo’s signature on Mary

There is also a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta in the church. Buonarroti’s original sculpture is  housed in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.

Replica of the Pieta in St. Peter’s in Chicago

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.

A vintage photo of Old St. Peter’s in Chicago

Nacre (mother of pearl) is a composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent.

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.

The Story of Saint 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.”

English: St. Francis and the Leper. A stained ...

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Saint Francis of Assisi and scenes of his life...

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 “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.”

Greyfriars Tower is the last significant remai...

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St. Francis of Assisi (circa 1182-1220)

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 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


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4 Comments

Filed under Saint Francis of Assisi, St. Peter's Church in Chicago

4 responses to “The “New” Saint Peter’s Catholic Church in Chicago’s Loop

  1. Pingback: Chicago Loop is the Perfect Setting for Superman’s “Men of Steel” Movie | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  2. Pingback: Sacred Spaces Walking Tour Showcases the Loop’s Hidden Religious Gems - Chicagotalks | Chicagotalks

  3. Pingback: Angel Of Alghero Religious Statue Hands Clasped

  4. I will definitely want to check this Church out

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