In the city that a university is building  

Ave Maria Oratory Buildiong

The city of Ave Maria is just 45 miles southwest of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida. Well, it’s not quite a city yet, but the people at the Ave Maria Catholic University, after opening their doors in 2007, are working on that.

The campus still has that new smell and is gorgeously laid out with expanding rings of wide avenues with plenty of room for expansion in this flat as a floor landscape of row crop farms and wetlands.

At the center of all this is the University’s tall, elegantly designed Oratory; a modern chapel built with a sense of style for the edification of students and visitors alike. It is a building full of light and lots of vertical space. But it is the outside of the building that we have come here to see – that part just above the three, big front doors, to be exact.

Ave Maria OratoryStanding at those three simple gothic arches, and looking up past the twelve gilded apostles, you find yourself staring up at 54 tons of snow white Carrara marble. Each of the fifteen pieces of stone (originally 120 tons) was personally selected from the Cava Michelangelo by the artist. You may have heard of him. He is Márton Váró, a world renowned sculptor from Romania and Hungry. Márton carved each of the largest pieces on site; all of the work taking nearly three years and at a cost of over three million dollars in private donations.  Ave Maria Oratory

The 25 foot tall bas relief, done in a simple but powerful style, shows the annunciation of Mary the mother of Jesus and the archangel Michael with an ascending dove at the apex.

For more information on the sculpture, search: Ave Maria Oratory sculpture

For more information on Márton Váró: go to his website:

You can also find videos on the YouTube Channel: