Basilica Blog

St. Luke the Evangelist: Sharing the Powerful Truth of the Gospel

“Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those…

Three Remarkable Characteristics of Saint Teresa of Ávila

On October 15, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Teresa of Jesus, more commonly known as Saint Teresa of Ávila…

From the U.S. Air Force to America’s Catholic Church: A Conversation with Dee Steel

How do you get from the United States Air Force Academy to the Basilica? Today, Dee Steel tells us about…

5 Hidden Gems of the Basilica: A Guide for Returning Visitors

The Basilica is a treasure trove of history, art, and architecture. Visitors might be familiar with…

Honoring Our Lady of the Rosary in the Basilica

Every October, we honor Our Lady of the Rosary, celebrating her Feast on October 7. This celebration…

What We Know about the Life of St. Francis of Assisi

On October 4, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, one of the Catholic Church’s most venerated…

A Guide for the First-Time Visitor to the Basilica

As a first-time visitor to the National Shrine, deciding what to see can be overwhelming…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux – a “Little Flower” in God’s Garden

On October 1, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Thérѐse of Lisieux, who is beloved for her writings on …

On This Day in History: The Laying of the National Shrine’s Foundation Stone

Today is a momentous day in the history of the National Shrine, especially as we prepare to commemorate…

The Uniqueness of the Basilica as a Pilgrimage Destination

Reverend Monsignor Vito A. Buonanno tells us what he believes makes the Basilica unique as a place…

Exhibit Opens at the Basilica: “The United States and the Holy See: A Worldwide Force for Good”

A new exhibit at the Basilica highlights the 35th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between…

Experiencing the Beauty of the Basilica’s Sacred Music: A Conversation with Director of Music Peter Latona

Today, Dr. Latona takes readers behind the scenes, sharing his intent for how audiences experience…

The Feast of Saint Matthew: Apostle & Evangelist

Jesus shocked the religious teachers of his day in many ways; perhaps one of the most prominent examples was …

Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows: An Example of Perseverance through Suffering

The feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows is observed on September 15. The occasion is a time for reflection…

A Pilgrimage Primer: Your Most Essential Questions, Answered

Today, Reverend Monsignor Vito A. Buonanno answers some essential questions about pilgrimages…

Download the Latest Issue of Mary’s Shrine

We invite you to download your copy of the Mary’s Shrine Newsletter to receive the latest news about the Basilica!

What Does it Mean to Be a Catholic Musician? A Conversation with Director of Music Peter Latona

Today, Dr. Latona takes readers behind the scenes, sharing what it means to be a Catholic musician…

Why Come on Pilgrimage to the Basilica?

To better understand pilgrimages and what makes the Basilica unique as a place of pilgrimage…

Saint Mother Teresa: Guardian of the Poor and Underprivileged

On September 5, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Born Gonxha Agnes Bojaxhiu in 1920,…

What Is It Like to Compose for the Basilica? A Conversation with Director of Music Peter Latona

Today, Dr. Latona takes us behind the scenes, sharing his experiences as a composer at the Basilica, the largest Catholic Church in North America…

Unafraid to Stand for Christ: Celebrating St. Joseph of Arimathea

August 31 marks the feast day of Saint Joseph of Arimathea, who is known for burying Jesus’ body after the…

Sacred Music as Vocation: A Conversation with Director of Music Peter Latona

The musicians of the Basilica strive to transform hearts and minds through the power and beauty of sacred music…

The Basilica’s Autumn Pilgrimage Schedule

During the autumn months, there are a variety of annual pilgrimages at the Basilica…

Four Things You Should Know about the Life of Saint Augustine

As students begin a new school year, we would like to honor the impact of Saint Augustine…

St. Monica: The Patron Saint of Mothers

Born in the 4th century, St. Monica is recognized as the patron saint of mothers…

Honoring Our Lady of Hungary and Saint Stephen

This month, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Stephen and the dedication of the Our Lady of Hungary Chapel…

Remembering the Sacrifice of Auschwitz Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe

In the face of Nazi brutality at Auschwitz, Saint Maximilian Kolbe bravely gave up his life for…

Meet Legend Thurman: a Daughter of the Shrine

Legend Alexandra Thurman has served for over five years as a volunteer in various capacities at the Basilica. Though she…

St. Clare of Assisi’s Dedication to Vocation

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in…

Saint Dominic: “Armed with a Prayer, not a Sword”

As the Basilica highlights the role of spiritual education in the lives and legacies of the saints this month, on…

St. John Vianney: A Testament to God’s Strength in Weakness

On August 4, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint John Vianney, who became a devoted servant for Christ and…

Who Was Saint Alphonsus Liguori?

With the arrival of a new school year, this month at the Basilica we’d like to focus on the legacies…

“A Knight for the Glory of God” – Saint Ignatius of Loyola

On July 31, we honor the life and legacy of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius was born in Spain as…

The Life of St. Martha and Drawing Closer to Jesus

With the Feast Day of St. Martha on July 29, we reflect on St. Martha’s role in Jesus’ ministry. Carved…

Celebrating Saint James the Apostle: the Son of Thunder

On July 25, we honor the Feast Day of the apostle Saint James the Greater. A passionate evangelist and devoted…

The Love and Faith of the Grandparents of Jesus: St. Anne and St. Joachim

On July 26, the Feast Day of St. Anne and St. Joachim, we honor the lives of Mary’s parents, the…

Celebrating the 56th Anniversary of the Installation of the Knights Tower Carillon

Nearly 60 years ago, the Basilica welcomed a new architectural addition: the Knights Tower, gifted by the…

What Saint Mary Magdalene Teaches Us about Redemption and Devotion

On July 22, we celebrate the Feast Day of Mary Magdalene. Mentioned fourteen times in the gospels, St. Mary was…

Caring for the Basilica: Meet the Sister Sacristans

Since 1986, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate have been serving the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate…

Reflections on Our Lady of Mount Carmel

On July 16, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and reflect on the blessing of the…

Explore National Shrine Gifts and Books with Amy Maloney

Wherever people enter the Basilica, they are greeted by the beauty and splendor of the Catholic faith, not only in…

Testaments to Loving Care: Our Lady of La Vang & Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today we highlight two Marian devotions– Our Lady of La Vang and Our Lady of Guadalupe – that stand in…

The Basilica Summer Organ Recital Series: An Introduction

For almost a century, the magnificent sound of the pipe organ has filled the sanctuaries of the Basilica. From the first…

The Remarkable History of America’s Catholic Church

The United States has long been considered the great melting pot, where people from many diverse lands make their home.…

Reflecting Upon the Legacy of St. Junípero Serra

As we enter the month of July, we celebrate the different cultures, peoples, and stories that are the fabric of the Catholic faith in…

Uniting the World: Our Lady of the Rosary & Our Lady Queen of Missions

While the Basilica commemorates the Blessed Mother under her title of Immaculate Conception as patroness of the United States, it also…

Remembering St. Peter and St. Paul: Instruments of Divine Purpose

St. Peter and St. Paul: two apostles. Two leaders. Two flawed individuals whom God chose and transformed for the use…

An Exhortation to Prayer: The Global Rosary Relay

On the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart, Friday, June 28, also designated as World Priest Day, the Basilica of…

Reflections upon the Life and Legacy of John the Baptist

With the Feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24, we reflect upon the life and legacy of he…

2 Marian Devotions at the Basilica: The Immaculate Heart of Mary & The Miraculous Medal

Two corresponding Marian devotions – the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Miraculous Medal – are represented in chapels at…

Why do nearly one million people visit the Basilica each year?

The Basilica hosts nearly one million people from across the globe each year. Basilica Docent Tom Wong shares his insight into…

The Five Domes of the Basilica and the Story They Tell

The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity is approaching – a special day dedicated to reflecting upon the sacred beauty…

The Trinity Dome and the Feast of the Blessed Trinity

With the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity approaching, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on this Holy…

Celebrating Mary as Mother of the Church

June 10 marks this year’s celebration of the memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. In 1964, at…

3 Marian Prayers: Our Lady of China, Our Mother of Africa, Our Lady of Vailankanni

The many chapels and oratories dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the…

Mary and Elizabeth’s Joy: The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Celebrated on May 31, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the Virgin Mary’s visit to…

An Inside Look at the Basilica with Docent Tom Wong

A docent – a volunteer guiding a group or individual as they experience the sights, sounds, and heart of the…

An Exclusive Interview with the National Symphony Orchestra

For the first time in almost twenty years, the National Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert in the Great…

The Memorial Mass: A Recognition of Love and Service

Commemorated to honor the men and women who died in military service for the United States, Memorial Day…

A Week in Rome with the Choir of the Basilica

The Choir of the Basilica performed this month in Rome, traveling to the Eternal City to honor the 35th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between…

3 Marian Prayers of Protection & Hope

Dedicated to and named after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is…

99th Anniversary of the Blessing of the Land

May 16, 2019 is the 99th anniversary of the blessing of the site of the future Basilica of the National…

Prayer, Peace, and Penance: The Message of Our Lady of Fatima

On May 13, we celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared…

The Church’s Great Mothers: 4 Saints Who Were Devoted Mothers

Behind every generation of devoted servants for Christ there is a generation of devoted mothers. Faithful mothers teach their children…

A Mother’s Day Tribute: Mary, Mother of God, as Depicted in the Basilica

As we celebrate mothers this month, it is fitting to reflect on the most important mother in history, Mary. Throughout…

In Celebration of Mothers: A Look at Faithful Mothers of the Bible

During the month of May, we honor and celebrate our mothers. As the guardians of future generations, they are instrumental…

Watch: Together with Notre-Dame de Paris: A Benefit Concert at the Basilica

On April 26, 2019, over 2,000 people attended “Together with Notre-Dame de Paris: A Benefit Concert at the Basilica.” Organized…

Glorifying God in Our Labor: Celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph is present in many places throughout the Basilica. In the East Apse of the Great Upper Church, he…

Lessons from the Life of Saint Catherine of Siena: Laywoman and Activist

On April 29, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Catherine of Siena. Though Saint Catherine of Siena came from…

Press Conference with Notre Dame Organist Johann Vexo

Thursday, April 25 at 10 a.m. in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church in advance of Notre Dame Benefit Concert at…

The Significance of Divine Mercy Sunday

As the faithful prepare to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, it is important to review the meaning and historical significance of…

Reflecting on the Seven Last Words of Christ

As we reflect on Christ’s sacrifice this Good Friday, the Seven Last Words give us powerful insight into His thoughts…

Bells of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Will Toll at 6:43 PM

In solidarity with our friends at Notre Dame in Paris, and seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for…

The Choral Music of Holy Week

From the somber silence experienced at the beginning of the Good Friday Liturgy, to the thunderous organ fanfare and ringing…

The Basilica Facilitates Donations in Solidarity with the Cathedral of Notre Dame

“The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in solidarity with the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris,…

Statement by Monsignor Walter R. Rossi, Rector of the Basilica, Regarding the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

“Today we share our grief and prayers with those who worship at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the…

Good Friday at the Basilica: Exposition of the Relics of the Christ’s Passion

The relics of the passion, death, and burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ are the first relics of the Church…

A Moment in Basilica History: First Mass Celebrated in the Crypt Church 95 Years Ago

Every year, millions of people from all over the world visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate…

A Virtual Welcome from the Rector of the Basilica

It gives me great pleasure as Rector to welcome you “virtually” to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception…

Palm Sunday, Holy Week & Easter at the Basilica

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic Church in the United States and one…

Basilica to Observe “24 Hours for the Lord”

In observance of “24 Hours for the Lord,” the Lenten initiative launched by Pope Francis, the Basilica of the National…

Lenten Reflections at the National Shrine

The season of Lent is a time to reflect on the solemnity of the Lord’s sacrifice and prepare our hearts…

The Trinity Dome Dedication

On December 8, 2017, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the patronal feast day of the National Shrine and…

Dedication of Rosary Walk and Garden

On September 23, 2017, a day of pilgrimage for more than 2,000 of the faithful during the centennial year commemorating…

Pope Francis’s Visit to the National Shrine

A Picture Perfect Day Pope Francis arrived at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on September…

Jubilee Celebration

On November 20, 2009, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its…

Pope Benedict XVI Visits the Basilica

People of all ages, states, and walks of life from across America flocked to the nation’s patronal church awaiting the…

Pope John Paul II Visits the Basilica

Excerpt from the book: America’s Church: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Early on the morning…