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A Taj Mahal in Río Grande?  

Nestled within the Guzmán Abajo neighborhood of this municipality lies a remarkable building known as the Santuario de Amosito

May 23, 2024 - 11:00 PM

It was Amós Tosado himself who envisioned and designed the sanctuary dedicated to his honor and memory, drawing inspiration from the majestic monument in India. (XAVIER GARCIA)

Lee la historia en español aquí.

The undeniable beauty and charm of the town of Río Grande never ceases to mesmerize its visitors. As they wander through its streets, they stumble upon a sight so remarkable that it compels them to wonder if they’ve traveled beyond the island, as the architectural design is reminiscent of India’s Taj Mahal.

This is the Santuario de Amosito, a sacred structure of the Pueblo de Amós Church, distinguished by its breathtaking stained glass windows, three domes, and seven columns that surround the monument. It is set amidst the serene ambiance of a hacienda in the Guzmán Abajo neighborhood.

The structure serves as a museum where the remains of Amós Tosado are laid to rest. Amós founded the religious denomination that extends its reach across Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. It also has congregations in the United States and followers in Canada, Spain, Colombia, and Peru.

Inside the sanctuary, visitors can find a theater and an exhibition showcasing a carefully curated collection of personal artifacts belonging to the so-called prophet or spiritual guide. The collection includes his clothes, furniture, gifts, and, notably, a detailed model representing the envisioned design of the sanctuary, created by “Amosito” (Amós Tosado) himself before his passing in 2007.

According to Hadassa Díaz, the vice president of the Board of Directors of the Pueblo de Amós, “it is a building that we have constructed to honor the life of Amós Tosado, a Puerto Rican who has been an instrument of God by preaching the word of God.”

“Amós’ remains rest within the sanctuary. We have a mausoleum, while everything else is a museum. Here at the Santuario de Amosito, we have galleries honoring an individual who did God’s work. The galleries are upstairs and they are dedicated to the living. There is also an area that will be a library where messages will be displayed, a desk, and some clothes,” said the vice president, who arrived at the congregation as a child holding her mother’s hand.

“We also have a theater where we occasionally present the church’s history and hold services, so we can continue spreading messages of goodness. The sanctuary also has areas for meditation,” added the 46-year-old Díaz.

Likewise, she further explained the similarities between the sanctuary and the Taj Mahal.

“When the temple was designed, Amós said: ‘This is my vision for the temple, I want it to be like the Taj Mahal, a place of love’…

We see this as something symbolic, echoing our faith in the Divine Trinity, which is represented by the three domes. We believe in the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are necessary for God to work through us. That’s why the sanctuary has seven columns built into it. It’s like a smaller version of the Taj Mahal,” she says.

The sanctuary is surrounded by fruit trees (like citrus, mango, and avocado trees), along with blooming flowering bushes. While strolling through the area, one can enjoy the refreshing sight of a river passing through the land.

“We have a planting area because he taught us how to cultivate; the estate reflects a deep love for nature. He allocated about five acres so that the families and congregations in Puerto Rico could adopt them and plant there,” she said.

“We are located in Río Grande by God’s will, and it has been an incredible blessing to be among nature; having El Yunque as our neighbor is truly magnificent,” she added, joined by other church directors.

Next to the sanctuary, you’ll find the church with a 12-column facade featuring an oriental-inspired design.

“We are Christians, following the traditions of early Christianity. Jesus promised us a new comforter, and Saint Paul always said that we were created to be temples of God. In a very beautiful and powerful way, Amós was a vessel for the Holy Spirit, serving as a beacon of hope to all souls,” she pointed out, noting that there are approximately 150 parishioners on the island.

To visit the sanctuary, you can call 787-315-8454.

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