Click on a section of the watercolor rendering below to explore the inspiration and the future of the Institute’s National Shrine of Christ the King.
Elegant Altar Chandeliers
Proper to this Roman basilica is a rich Christmas tradition where the Eternal City’s most beloved Santo Bambino is carried in procession and crowned as the Infant King. Devoted in like manner to the Infant Lord Jesus, the Shrine of Christ the King will encompass its 17th century statue of the Holy Infant with an elegant mantle of Baroque chandeliers, fashioned after those in this Roman church. By providing a worthy home for this divine Child, the light and warmth of His little royal Heart will enkindle the faith of countless souls.
Inspired by Santa Maria in Aracoeli
Crowning Rome’s highest summit, Aracoeli stands in place of the ancient Roman capital where Caesar Augustus received the Sibyl’s prophesy of the coming of Christ. Following the conversion of the Eternal City, this basilica was constructed using various ruins throughout the Empire and was placed under the maternal protection of our blessed Lady. Refreshed in the 16th century with the glory and grandeur of Roman Baroque style, this church is aptly christened the “Altar of Heaven.”
Glorious High Altar
Dedicated to the kingship of our sovereign Lord, the Shrine of Christ the King has designed the restoration of the High Altar so as to provide a true throne for the King of kings and a new Bethlehem for His adorable Infancy. Brilliantly-clad angels, reminiscent of the heavenly hosts on that first Christmas night, will encompass the Shrine’s 17th century Spanish statue of the Holy Infant King that surmounts the majestic Carrara marble altar erected below. By furnishing the Shrine with this magnificent piece, help the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to build a worthy home for this divine Child.
Surmounting the high altar of this remarkable edifice, a grand baldacchino, supported by angels, will testify to the awesome mystery which is renewed at each Holy Mass. Inspired by Santa Maria in Transpontina, above the Shrine’s future high altar, a similar baldacchino will crown the throne of the Holy Infant King, reminding the faithful that the Sacred Liturgy is a veiled glimpse of heavenly glory. “The more you honor Me, the more I will bless you.” To His faithful devotees, this divine Child promises a heavenly crown and the eternal blessings of His benevolent reign.
Inspired by Santa Maria in Campitelli
After earnest entreaty to the Blessed Virgin miraculously halted pestilence amid the streets of Rome in 1656, Pope Alexander VII requested that this church be built in honor of our Lady’s gracious intercession. Distinguished for its stately Roman columns and its dramatic use of light, Santa Maria in Campitelli provides a classical twist to the grandeur of Baroque architecture, of which the high altar is a crowning example.
Recognizing that our Lord attracts hearts to His own through beauty in art, the Shrine of Christ the King will fashion its new confessionals after those in this basilica. An essential furnishing in every church, these wood-carved confessionals will provide a proportionate and elegant addition to the overall beauty of the church. By offering a sacred space both suitable and welcoming, support the Institute of Christ the King in restoring the sacramental life of this historic shrine.
Inspired by Santa Maria Maggiore
A top the summit of the Esquiline Hill stands the patriarchal basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The church’s construction followed a miraculous August snowfall amid the sweltering summer of 352. There in the fresh white flakes, the outline for the future basilica was drawn to scale giving it the charming sobriquet, “Saint Mary of the Snow.” In further honor of our Lady as Mother of God, the church appropriately enshrines the relics of the holy Crib.
Nave, Transept & Communion Rail
Perhaps the most substantial contributor to the restoration project at the Shrine of Christ the King, this Roman church has inspired the design of the transept altars and altar rails as well as the curvature of the sanctuary; however, the most observable similarity is in the pattern of the nave floor. An elegant simplicity enhanced by a bold design, this Baroque characteristic provides the Shrine with a style authentically Roman. Through your prayers and generosity, be a part of this magnificent restoration of faith and culture.
Inspired by Sant’Ignazio
The church of Saint Ignatius was originally constructed by the Society of Jesus to meet the needs of their Collegio Romano and its bustling 2,000 students. Dedicating it to their beloved founder, the Jesuits designed the church with a triumphant burst of emotion and color as a befitting tribute to the revival of Catholicism aided in great part by the Society’s efforts in grace. Remarkable in the interior artwork is an incredible example of Baroque illusionism; when funds wore thin, a faux dome was painted on the church’s ceiling by a cleverly skilled Jesuit artist, fascinating the human eye to this day.
The Shrine of Christ the King, inspired by the gentle glow that illuminates this basilica’s interior, has designed the restoration of its own windows to achieve this splendid effect. Hand-blown amber colored glass, framed by a functional design, will provide the Shrine a celestial warmth and an antique elegance characteristically Roman. By restoring graceful light to the Shrine’s four walls, support the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in bringing the light of grace to countless souls for generations to come.
Inspired by Sant’Andrea della Valle
Intriguing in its history and architectural features, this Roman basilica stands high above the site where the body of the Saint Sebastian was found after his martyrdom in the 3rd century. The original church, which bore the martyr’s name, was effectively replaced in the 16th century by the present structure and rededicated in honor of Saint Andrew the Apostle. An opulent example of early Baroque architecture, Saint Andrew’s supports the second largest dome in the Eternal City, preceded appropriately by its “elder brother” at the Basilica of Saint Peter.
Flooring & Pews
Terrazzo floors, having the appearance of marble, will grace the floors of the Shrine.
Pews will be in the European style.
Ceiling & Pilasters
A foretaste of divine splendor, the Basilica of Saint Peter is the grandest church in all of Christendom. The palatial structure stands triumphantly in place of the circus where the Prince of the Apostles was martyred for Christ in AD 67, with the high altar gloriously marking the site of his interment. Aptly venerating the primacy of Peter, this gem of high Renaissance design and early Baroque style supports one of the largest domes in the world, appropriately inscribed with the words of our Lord: “You are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my Church.”
Inspired by Sant’Pietro in Vaticano
Inspired by this architectural marvel, the Shrine of Christ the King will draw from the lively splendor of this basilica’s Corinthian pilasters and entablature and ceiling in the design of its own. The ceiling coffers, which once adorned the church before the destructive fire of 1976, will be restored and brought to new glory. As the beauty of this great basilica has enkindled the faith of countless pilgrims throughout the ages, with your generous support, the Shrine of Christ the King will be a beacon of grace for generations to come.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has designed the restoration of the Shrine’s devotional altars after those in this Roman church. Mindful of the necessity of authentic spirituality in cultivating true charity, these shrines will honor those models of spirituality such as St. Francis de Sales and St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, among others, and will provide the Shrine the means to nurture souls in grace and devotion. By the help of divine Providence and relying on your generous support and prayers, the Shrine of Christ the King will sanctify souls through liturgy and devotion.
Inspired by San Luigi dei Francesi
Originally constructed to provide a Roman home for the French Benedictines of Farfa, this magnificent church became an artistic tribute to the Church’s “eldest daughter” and her holy king, Saint Louis IX. Named in his honor, this exquisite sample of 16th century Baroque design is appropriately crowned with an apse of near-heavenly resplendence, elevating the soul alongside our Lady of the Assumption depicted below. Further enhancing the church’s beauty are the works of the celebrated Baroque genius, Caravaggio, masterfully depicting the life and martyrdom of Saint Matthew.
Organ & Choir Loft
Understanding the importance of a rich harmony between liturgy, art, and music in attracting souls to things divine, the Shrine of Christ the King will model its new pipe organ and choir loft after those in this basilica. A delight to the highest senses, this magnificent instrument will fill the Shrine with the sounds of sacred music, giving glory to God and bringing souls to Christ.
Inspired by San Giovanni in Laterano
With Eternal Rome obtained for Christ and His Church by the armies of Emperor Constantine, this monumental basilica was built in AD 312 and forever established as the chair of the Holy See. Heralded “the mother and mistress of all churches”, the cathedral church of Rome has not only provided a model for architecture throughout the centuries but has nurtured faithful souls in every Christian age. The basilica has withstood the sands of time, giving testimony to the divinity of our Savior, to whom the church is principally dedicated.
Valuing the role of beauty in inspiring a living witness of truth in charity, the Shrine of Christ the King will use this basilica’s side altars as a model for its own. These altars will depict such scenes as the Adoration of the Magi and the Annunciation, manifesting the divinity of our Lord in His Incarnation. Additional side altars will be dedicated to St. Clara, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and St. Gelasius, traditional patrons of this historical landmark church on Chicago’s south side.
Inspired by San Bartolomeo All’Isola
Within the picturesque setting of the Tiber Island stands the basilica of Saint Bartholomew, titular church of his Eminence, Francis Cardinal George. Erected over the isle’s pagan ruins in the year of grace 998, the church was designed using the ancient site’s original marble columns, which ornament the nave to the present day. Having been restored in the Baroque style after a 16th century flood, this unique Roman basilica provides a splendid shrine for the relics of its apostolic namesake as well as a memorial for the holy martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries sopra altare maggiore.
Devoted to the sanctification of souls through liturgy and art, the Shrine of Christ the King will draw inspiration from this church’s sacred artwork as well as the very pews where countless hearts will be filled with hope by the sight of heavenly beauty. Joyful scenes such as the Annunciation of our Lady and the Nativity of our Lord will decorate the ceiling and walls, educating souls in divine charity and truth. With your prayers and generosity, help the Institute of Christ the King in this extraordinary revival of culture and faith.
Inspired by Il Gesu
The mother church of the Jesuits stands right in the heart of Rome, occupying the site Saint Ignatius himself chose for his generate shortly after he founded the Society of Jesus in 1540. The church, dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, is the earliest example of Baroque architecture. The majestic design aims to articulate the divine splendor of Christ and the glory of His Church, as re-affirmed by the holy Council of Trent, and has served as a model for churches ever since.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, devoted to the sanctification of souls through the sacred Liturgy of the Church, has designed the Shrine’s new sacristy after that in Chiesa Nuova. A necessity for the maintenance and care of the church’s sacred vessels, this sacristy’s functional layout and practical amenity provide it with an ordered and prayerful space, ideal in the preparation of holy Mass and of the Sacraments. Through this revival of beautiful liturgy, aid the faith of countless souls by rebuilding this shrine for Christ our King.
Inspired by Chiesa Nuova
A midst the great cultural and liturgical revival brought about by the Council of Trent, the Eternal City was aided in her efforts by Saint Philip Neri and the construction of Chiesa Nuova for his newly founded Oratorians. Formally known as Santa Maria in Vallicella, the “New Church” was built in its place and received its enduring title of endearment from the enthusiastic Roman citizens of the Counter Reformation. Patron of Rome, the beloved saint is now entombed within the walls he helped to build for the glory of God and His holy Church.