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Religious Perspective

Great views from a Catholic shrine inspired by a Jew

religiousperspectivePhoto: Peyri Hamada


he Madonna Queen National Shrine is one of those secrets that hide in plain sight. It’s hard to miss—a 35-foot bronze-and-copper statue of the Madonna 216 feet up at the top of Orient Heights (you’ve probably seen it from the runway at Logan)—but many people do. Built with small donations collected over 50 years by a Catholic missionary order called the Don Orione Fathers, the shrine is a replica of one atop Mount Mario in Rome sculpted by an Italian Jew, Arrigo Minerbi, as a gesture of gratitude to the order for helping him escape the Nazis during World War II. An observation deck offers unparalleled views of the airport below and the city skyline just across the harbor.



The Madonna Queen National Shrine was built in 1954 by a group of Italian nuns and priests who had come to Boston five years earlier to open a nursing home named for the since-canonized Don Luigi Orione.