The following comes from a Jan. 8 story by Orange County Catholic.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Diocese of Orange’s patroness, so it’s no surprise that she will be honored when Christ Cathedral is dedicated July 17, 2019. A brilliant mosaic will be located on the Cathedral’s south interior wall.

“Viewed from behind the altar, it will be located on the far back wall,” says Diocese parishioner Bill Close, who, with his wife, Helen, funded the work. 

When it’s completed, Christ Cathedral’s Our Lady of Guadalupe mosaic will measure ten feet by seven feet, Close says. “It’s very large, a lot larger than most… The Diocese’s mosaic will be roughly the same height as the Cathedral’s south wall.” 

Depicting a traditional image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the mosaic will be composed of more than 55,000 tiles of gold and smalti tile (opaque glass). 

“It will be far more colorful than most,” Close says. “With the right lighting or direct sunlight, it will be extraordinary. The gold rays [emanating from Our Lady] will really light up.” 

In order to be ready for Christ Cathedral’s July dedication, artisans from Italy are currently working on the piece. Its gold frame alone will take three to four months to finish. 

A 22-by-20-inch crown, made of gold leaf rather than mosaic, will adorn Our Lady’s head. Close explains, “It will be placed on a temporary basis for devotional purposes and for feast days.”