Who is Mary, Mother of Fairest Love?
Mary, Mother of Fairest Love, was described in Holy Scripture 150 years before she came to this earth – “I am the mother of fair love, of reverence, of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.” (Sirach 24: 24-26).
Jesus gave us Holy Mary as our Mother, to be our model of Fairest Love, to teach us to live and love with generous, self-sacrificing love in our families and within society. She is also given to us to intercede for us as she did in Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding at Cana.
In the words of Pope St. John Paul II: "The human person is a social being by nature, called to communion with others and to the giving of self to others." The human family is the fruit of the unconditional, self-giving love between two persons. It was into such an atmosphere of familial love between Mary and Joseph that God’s son was born in a poor cave in Bethlehem. With Mary’s fiat, the mother of Our Lord and all of us became the model of Fairest Love for the family, and thus, for the whole world.
“I am the mother of fair love, of reverence, of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye
that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.”
What will the Shrine be like?
The Shrine will be a place for both quiet reflection and growing more in love with your family. Situated in southern California, our vision is to create a destination filled with elegant architecture and sprawling parks, with spaces for contemplation, dining, and socializing. With its serene ambience and beautiful grounds, we want to build a Shrine that offers families and friends a respite from the bustle of daily life, enabling them to spend meaningful time together.
For Catholics, the Shrine’s design will embody the magnificence of human love, as exemplified by Mary, in her role as the Mother of God. In addition to a beautiful church, the Shrine’s grounds will include unique prayer spaces and areas where we can host educational programming regarding family life and family love for all ages.
Our ultimate hope is that the Shrine will foster the spiritual and relational growth of singles, couples and families of all faiths.
“Mother of Fair Love, of that love that causes no embarrassment, that cleans and ennobles, that love which is the foundation of all great things, that love which draws us toward the Heart of that good Mother who knew how to be Mater pulchrae dilectionis.”
Meditation given by St. Josemaría Escrivá
February 8, 1959
Why build a shrine?
St. Josemaría saw the United States as a world leader not just in the economic sphere but in the cultural realm as well. Realizing the influence that American entertainment culture has over the minds and hearts of countless souls throughout the world, St. Josemaría conceived of the idea of a Shrine dedicated to Mary, Mother of Fairest Love, that would serve as a beacon for all to discover the meaning of human love in its purest form. Such a Shrine would complement the efforts of the local Church to evangelize and proclaim the message that marriage is a true path to holiness and one of the primary means by which to promote authentic human flourishing in society.
After much study and preparation, the project fulfilling St. Josemaría’s wish began in 2014. Southern California was chosen as its location because it is a crossroads to Latin America and Asia as well as a destination for the rest of North America. But just as importantly, it presents the opportunity for all to witness the beauty of human love and family life in the midst of an entertainment hub that often depicts marriage and the family in a confused manner—one that does not reflect the true dignity of the human person or the beauty of marital love and family life.