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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gothic revival church

St Francis of Assisi -A  Gothic revival church built in Staunton Virginia in the late 1880's for the growing population of Irish catholics.
Thomas J Collins, a parishioner was the architect.
Such a beauty sitting up high on  a hill in town, to bad the power lines are so visible at my standpoint.
The tracery that surrounds the circular window of the assenion of Christ into heaven is in petal design.  In 1898 the window cost a large sum of $800.00.
In 1895 it's double cornerstone was laid by the bishop of Richmond - Augustine Van Devyver.
The  1850 date cornerstone  commemorates an earlier structure which foundation is beneath the floor the present structure.
A local newspaper reporting on the dedication of the church in 1897 ,  describes the style  of the building as English Gothic.
Pointed arches ,  characteristic of the Gothic style.   The spiritual goal of this style is to lead one to reach towards the heights of heavens.
View from top of steps
Pennsylvania ashlar greenstone was transported to Staunton by rail from chester county, Pennsylvania.
A story told is that Collins was encouraged by his wife to honor the native homeland of the majority of it's parishioners.
The steeple contains a large cast iron bell
The bell today electrically sounds the Angelus - 8, 12 and 6pm on weekdays and announces mass on the weekend
Facing west is the main entry where the sun sets.
The east end is the altar facing Jerusalem as also the rising sun.
Drawing the worshipper to enter "the portals of heaven" is the cast masonry that flows out from the doors is in the medievel gothic style.
The Ascension window upon departing affirms  that  we take with us Christ promise of eternal life
The church design is that of a Bascilica , and is also oriented to the points of a compass, both traditions of the early christians
reflection in stained glass
outside near the Adoration chapel entrance is an Italian marble statue of the Virgin and child.
At the crowning of Mary each may,  parishioners bring flowers here.
A prayer garden built in honor of "Our Lady of Guadalupe".
Patron saint of the unborn
Looking towards the Adoration entrance
From the top steps is a partial view of other church steeples rising above the landscape
Hopefully I will be able to plan a trip when a tour is available to see the inside.
A very interesting site that I obtained info about the Church is found here
I am sharing with Inspired Sunday


  1. I love how the stone almost looks pink in some of your pictures. Stunning photos

  2. It is nice to meet you via Inspired Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed your photos. Have a nice week.

  3. Hi Betsy, what a beautiful church. Your photos are fantastic!
    Have a great week,


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