Setting Reveal!

As we creep closer to the release of my YA novel, Angelhood, I’ll be revealing bits and pieces of information about the book. Today, I’d like to talk about a real church in Chicago that I used for two important scenes in the book.

Back in 2011, I went on a Catholic Church Tour to do research for a middle grade novel I was working on. Little did I know that just a month later, I’d be hit with the idea for Angelhood and end up postponing work on the  middle grade book in order to pursue this new endeavor.

While working on Angelhood, I needed a location for the guardian angels to meet, and the church that fit my needs perfectly was Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, one of the churches from the tour I had taken a month earlier! Funny how God gives us things before we even know we need them!

So here are a few photos of Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, which I’ve visited twice now.

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica

The Tower

The Tower

The front entrance

The front entrance

The Altar

The altar

Clearly, this photo was taken during my pre-iPhone days.

Clearly, this photo was taken during my pre-iPhone days, and doesn’t do the beauty of this church justice. I’ll need to go back to get a better photo some day!

The church has paintings that depict the seven sorrows of Mary. One important scene takes place near the back of the church and involves a character looking at one of these paintings. This particular one is Mary standing at the foot of the cross, watching her son die.

Mary at the foot of the cross

Mary at the foot of the cross

The pew from which a character gazes at the painting

The pew from which a character gazes at the painting

Another extremely important scene in the book happens in an area behind and to the side of the main altar. In this part of the church, you’ll find a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta. I won’t reveal what happens here, but let’s just say that a pretty powerful guardian angel can be found at this spot from time to time.

Replica of the Pieta at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica

Replica of the Pieta at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica

And then just because they’re pretty and play a minor role in the book, here are the stained glass windows over the exit.

Doors and stained glass windows inside Our Lady of Sorrows

Doors and stained glass windows inside Our Lady of Sorrows

So why am I revealing this setting today, September 15, when my book doesn’t come out for several more months?

Because today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which makes it the “titular feast day” of the basilica! Happy Titular Feast Day, Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica!

 

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