An Annunciation Sunrise
The orientation of the Ave Maria Oratory is no accident.When the town of Ave Maria was being planned, the layout of the Ave Maria town center was oriented so that the azimuth of sunrise -- the point at which the sun breaks the horizon -- would be directly behind the Ave Maria Oratory on March 25, when the Feast of the Annunciation is normally observed.
Published on Sunday, 25 March 2012 19:44
Fr. Joseph Fessio, Ave Maria University's first chancellor, said that he was inspired to suggest this specific orientation when he visited St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria, and Cardinal Christoph Schonborn explained to him that the cathedral was oriented in that way to mark the feast day for its patron saint.
The picture at right shows the oratory at the moment of sunrise March 25, 2012. Pictures below show the sun as it climbs behind the oratory.