Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cathedral Basilica Of St. Louis.

On Wednesday, September 22,
 we visited the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
 If you're in St Louis, do yourself a favor and visit.
You'll be amazed.
Outside is a statue of Pope John Paul II, who visited the cathedral January 26-27, 1999. St. Louis, Missouri was actually once known as the "Rome of the West." When the first French explorers traveled the Mississippi River hundreds of years ago, they brought their French names and their Catholic faith with them. Their faith would endure long after the French sold the vast expanse to the new American nation. In 1834, the people of a young St. Louis built the first cathedral west of the Mississippi. The "old cathedral," the Basilica of St. Louis IX, King of France, still stands as a source of pride for St. Louis very near the Gateway Arch. Forty five others would be formed, included the archdioceses of Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Paul, Dubuque, Denver, Omaha, Kansas City (Kansas), and Oklahoma City. Although the St. Louis diocese is not the largest in the United States, it still maintains a place of honor among Catholics in America. In 1999, the Pope was going to be in Mexico City and Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis invited him to St. Louis, a large American archdiocese which the Pope had never been to. This statue commemorates that visit.
I will always remember Saint Louis. God bless Saint Louis! God bless America!

The construction of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis began May 1, 1907 under the supervision and direction of Archbishop John Glennon. Work on the cathedral would continue for another eighty years. The architecture of the exterior is Romanesque, with two massive towers, granite walls, and rose windows. The main dome rests on an elevated drum pierce by the Romanesque windows. This distinctive dome and the pitched roofs, covered in brilliant green tiles, are a prominent sight in the St. Louis skyline.

The Angel of Harmony sculpture. The scripture inscribed below is Matthew 5: 7-9. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called children of God."

Massive oak doors open and carry one back in time to a church built in the Byzantine tradition. Soaring domes, arches, soffits, lunettes (half-moon shaped space), and pendentives (constructive device permitting the placing of a circular dome over a square room or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room) are paved with brilliant mosaics.
Pope John Paul II As a lasting remembrance For many years the Church of Saint Louis is a very special place in which Christ theSavior in the sacrament of the Eucharist continues to offer himself as the source of diving life. For this reason we have willing accepted the request of our esteemed brother, Justin Francis Rigali, Archbishop of Saint Louis, that the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese, where the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist are celebrated with devotion by Christ's faithful, be raised should enjoy these the dignity of a Minor Basilica. We are confident that this privilege will greatly contribute to the well-being of the people of God of this Archdiocese and to the ever more abundant outpouring of God's mercy on them. With the recommendation of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, by our apostolic authority we decree by this Letter that the Cathedral Church dedicated to Saint Louis in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis the title and dignity of a Minor Basilica with the rights and privileges proper to this Cathedral Church is also to observe what is stipulated in the Decree De Titulo Basilica Minoris issued on the ninth day of the month of November in the year 1989. We desire that these things be observed now and in the future, anything to the contrary notwithstanding. Given in Rome at Saint Peter's, under the seal of the Fisherman, on the fourth day of the month of April in the year 1997, the nineteenth of our Pontificate. Angel Cardinal Sodano Secretary of State
This is one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world, created by 20 different artists and covering 83,000 square feet. The installation, containing 41.5 MILLION ppieces of glass tessare employing over 8000 colors, began in 1912 and was completed in 1988. In recognition of its beauty and the historical significance of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Pope John Paul II designated the Cathedral of St. Louis a Basilica in 1997.

Sadly, pictures cannot do this justice.


Marilyn said...

Lovely. But I can't help but think of all the good that all that money could be doing for God's people rather than for His house. Sorry, but I tend to be rather practical that way.

Anonymous said...

You should see the Basilica in MKE. St. Josephats. Brilliant. They still say mass in Latin & Polish. Keeping it old school.

Catholic in St. Louis said...

Marylin, millions of people have been fed, clothed and housed because of that chruch. During its construction, the Church paid thousands of people who fed and clothed their families with their wages. Since being constructed, millions of Catholics (and nonCatholic visitors) have contributed money to the parish's various funds for the poor and the archdiocese's charitable agencies (Cathedral Basilica is both a parish and the mother church of the archdiocese). The immense sense of reverence found in a place like Cathedral Basilica provides terrific guidance for people who are struggling and for people discerning how to be good stewards of their gifts. The Catholic Church is the world's largest charitable organization and it is the because of the great reverence of Catholics -- as reflected by this treasure -- that will keep the Church providing for all peoples until He returns.