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The Church Of Saint Raymond Essay

1083 words - 5 pages

The religious site that I chose for my course assignment is the Church of Saint Raymond, a historical landmark. One could say that it definitely stands out boldly in the neighborhood that its located in which is the Castle Hill/ Parkchester proper in the Bronx. Growing up I frequently visited the church and was always astounded by its massive size and incredible architecture. Compared to the dimly lit parish of Santa Maria, which always smelled like wet wood (and still does), it always seemed unreal being inside. I was born and baptized a Roman Catholic, and became a parishioner of Santa Maria church located in the Zerega Avenue neighborhood of the northeast Bronx. I attended school, played ...view middle of the document...

In August 1845, the Church of Saint Raymond was built dedicated to honor Saint. Raymond Nonnatus.
St. Raymond Nonnatus was born in the year 1204 in Catalonia, Spain. He dedicated his life to ransoming Christian captives under the Order of Mercy. He eventually ran into trouble when his funds for ransoming became scarce, when he then offered himself to the Moors in exchange for the Christian captives he had hoped to rescue. It is said that he was severely tortured by the Moors in this event, having a hole pierced through his lips in which a padlock was placed to keep his mouth shut. When released he was placed in the position as the Cardinal of Spain. He was later canonized and made the patron saint of pregnant women, infants, and midwives due to the complications of the conditions in the procedure (Caesarian) of his own birth in which his mother had died.

At first, many of its parishnoners were Irish immigrants who had been flocking over to New York, especially the Bronx, which at the time was still part of Westchester County. The church quickly grew and soon could no longer host its ever-growing parishioner population. On the August 4th 1897 the cathedral-like structure that stands today was built. Designed by New York-born architect George H. Streeton, with the help of many skilled builders imported from Italy. At full capacity it can host 2,000 occupants. The Archdiocese paid $100,000 for the cost of building. It appears that the building’s details and features can be associated with a combination of the earlier Byzantine Revival and the Victorian Gothic and Gothic-Revival styles, which were part of the later mid-nineteenth century.

I made several attempts at scheduling an appointment for a guided tour, but was unsuccessful. Today was the day that I visited church and its rectory. I arrived at 12:40pm and was assisted by an older woman leaving who had been praying with three younger women earlier. Now I’ve been there plenty of times before, but it was a pleasure having such a dedicated parishioner assist me in a brief tour in which she explained her thoughts of the beauties and treasures of the religious site. By...

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