Second lady Karen Pence visited one of the world’s foremost sanctuaries Tuesday in Brazil and described the church as “breathtaking.”
Pence posted photos of her visit to the Dom Bosco Sanctuary Tuesday on Twitter:
— Karen Pence (@SecondLady) June 26, 2018
The sanctuary looks only marginally impressive from the outside — a massive square-shaped concrete complex with a large cross along one of the building’s corners. But there’s more to the shrine than meets the eye.
When visitors walk into the sanctuary, they are immediately washed in a sea of blue.
The church’s stunning sanctuary windows made of handblown glass punctuate an already stunning cedar crucifix, offering a perfect backdrop to silhouette the Christian image. And the church’s massive chandelier — made of 7,400 pieces of Murano crystal glass — hangs in the center of the building.
The windows alone cover more than 23,000 square feet and are paneled with 12 shades of blue stained glass, each of which cast a different light in the sanctuary filled with hundreds of pews and featuring a marble alter weighing more than 10 tons.
The shrine, open 24 hours a day, was erected as a memorial to the Italian Roman Catholic priest John Bosco, commonly known as Don Bosco, and the dream he had in 1883 of a utopian city that would lead the country in a new world toward a just future.
Vice President Mike Pence was in Brazil on Monday and Tuesday to meet with the country’s president, Michel Temer, who expressed concern over the Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which resulted in children being separated from their families along the southern border. President Donald Trump has since issued an executive order to rectify the issue.
The vice president, though, stood his ground. He asked the people of Brazil to “respect” the United States’ immigration policies and its borders, The Washington Post reported.
“Don’t risk your lives or the lives of your children by trying to come to the United States on the road run by drug smugglers and human traffickers,” Mike Pence said during a joint appearance with Temer. “If you can’t come legally, don’t come at all.”
After leaving Brazil on Wednesday, Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen are expected to meet with the presidents of Guatemala and Honduras. They are also slated to sit down with the vice president of El Salvador in Guatemala on Thursday.