Loretto Chapel in New Mexico is Home to Miraculous St. Joseph Staircase

When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878 the Sisters of the Chapel completed a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters to help them find a solution to their problem. Although construction of the chapel was completed there was no way to access the choir loft 22 feet from the ground. Local carpenters had been called in but all had determned that a ladder would have to be used as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel. On the last day of the novena a man appeared with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later the staircase was completed and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. “The stairway confounds architects, engineers and master craftsmen. It makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands 20’ tall and has no center support. It rests solely on its base and against the choir loft. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails.” Some have concluded that the staircase was made by St. Joseph himself in answer to the Sisters’ prayers.

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