The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal came to Matagalpa in 2008 and built the Monastery of Saint Anthony. From their Monastery, they evangelize in the local community, tend to needs of the poor, the sick, imprisoned, and provide catechism to the youth.
In 2008, Father John Anthony Boughton and Sydney Pratt, the man who first dreamed of the Shrine of the Mountain of Peace, met each other. Pratt presented Father John Anthony with the idea of constructing a Cross at the top of Apante, the tallest peak surrounding the city of Matagalpa.
Initially, Father John Anthony told Sydney that his "community does not make crosses in the mountains." Then four years later, Father John Anthony accepted the undertaking. Construction began in 2011. Now the largest Cross in the Americas can be found on this mountain. Each year it is visited by tens of thousands of pilgrims.
The Cross in the middle of Americas
At the summit of Apante stands a 33 meter Cross flanked by a 12 meter image of the Americas’ patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, reminding all that the victory of Christ over evil is the true fount of peace. Here, in the center of the Americas, the Holy Spirit is attracting thousands from around the world to pray for peace in the heart, in the family and in the world as they follow the 2 kilometer stations of the cross leading the top of Apante, the Mountain of Peace.