Welcome Plaza at Our Lady of San Juan Shrine Now Open to the Public

Local News

The new 10 ft. bronze statue at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle will now serve as one of the faces of the basilica. It is part of the new welcome plaza, that was unveiled on June 29, 2017.

Fr. Amador Garza, Basilica Rector said, “It’s the blessing mother welcoming all the pilgrims who come here. This is one of the largest places for pilgrimage in the United States of America. So, we wanted to create something to welcome pilgrims to the basilica.”

Imported all the way from Vicenza, Italy, the new statue is expected to attract several more visitors.

“This is a real boom for the city of San Juan. I think the Basilica is San Juan. We have a lot and lots of pilgrims. I would say, an excess of 1.5 million pilgrims a year.” Said Fr. Garza

The new welcoming plaza and statue will also welcome those who aren’t Catholic

Bishop Daniel Flores, Catholic Diocese of Brownsville said, “The church opens its heart to give some matter of consolation to people who struggle through many difficulties in life and it doesn’t matter where they come from or what religion they’re from. Many people who are not Catholic come here to pray because they find peace and tranquility in some sense of consolation to the heart, so everyone is always welcomed here to the Basilica.”

The construction of the welcome plaza and statue were made possible by donations. One of the biggest donors was H-E-B who donated nearly $250,000.

The director of the basilica adds they still have a few finishing touches to add to the welcome plaza. He expects everything to be done in the next couple of weeks.

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