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Mary’s Care Across the Continents: A Virtual Tour

This post is the second in our Mary Across the Continents Virtual Tour series, celebrating the many ways the faithful…

The National Shrine Shops Summer 2022 Collection

We are pleased to announce the National Shrine Shops Summer 2022 Collection! Browse rosaries, sacred jewelry, home décor and more in this curated selection.

5 Works of Art Celebrating the Assumption in the Basilica

One of the major Marian celebrations of the Church calendar, the Solemnity of the Assumption celebrates the Church’s teaching that Mary was taken up, body and soul, into heaven.

6 Inspiring Quotes for Students from the Holy Fathers

As you prepare to begin another school year, we hope you are inspired by what the Holy Fathers have to say about living and learning as a student.

10 Verses for Students

As you and your friends prepare to return to school this fall, we invite you to reflect on these verses of encouragement…

Virtually Tour the St. Dominic Chapel

As we celebrate the Feast of Saint Dominic on August 8, we remember his vital work equipping spiritual teachers to…

Who founded the Oblates of Mary Immaculate?

Did you know that the Congregation of the Missionaries, Oblates of Mary Immaculate was founded in 1826 by St. Eugene…

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Music at the Basilica

For over 50 years, the musicians of the National Shrine have sought to transform hearts and minds through the power…

Virtual Tour: Mosaics of the Great Upper Church

Did you know that the Basilica’s mosaics span a combined 93,845 square feet? In early Church history, art played an…

What Is Omnipotence?

At times in the tedium of ordinary life, God can seem distant and hard to know. We question His ways…

10 Verses for Grandparents and the Elderly

This year on July 24, the Church celebrates the second annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Instituted by…

6 Carmelite Saints You Should Know

Did you know that the Basilica has a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel that honors a variety…

Heralds of Triumph: The Bells of the Knights Tower Carillon

Learn more about the majestic bells of the Knights Tower and the meaning of their symbolism and inscriptions.

Virtual Tour: Mary Across the Continents – Pt. I

This month, we’re excited to launch a new virtual tour series celebrating the many ways the faithful honor Mary around the world.

5 Things to Do at the Basilica This Summer

Whether you enjoy sacred art and music, or are looking for a quiet place to pray, there are endless opportunities.

A Prayer to Our Lady of Bistrica

Did you know that the devotion to Our Lady of Bistrica dates back to the 13th century? After the Croatians…

What you should know about the persecuted Church

From October 2020 to September 2021, over 360 million Christians suffered from persecution and discrimination for their faith.

What is Omniscience?

In His Word, God has revealed Himself to us. We can know God better through gaining a better understanding of…

5 Things You Didn’t Know About St. Junípero Serra

St. Junípero Serra is best known for his work in bringing the Gospel to the Americas. Even though he was…

A hairdresser for Christ: the extraordinary life of Pierre Toussaint

Many people associate holiness with missionaries and teachers or monks and philosophers. But Christians don’t need to be in specifically religious vocations to be used of God.

Who defeated Nestorianism?

“The Word of God, as consubstantial with the Father, has all things in common with Him and, therefore, has necessarily…

Virtually Tour the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel

Did you know that June 25 is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary? As we…

A Prayer to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu

For over a century, the faithful have looked to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu for protection and healing. After the…

St. Aloysius Gonzaga: An Indefatigable Servant of the Suffering

On June 21, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, an indefatigable servant of the suffering. While the world…

Meet Crossley Hawn, an Award-Winning Basilica Staff Soprano

Award-winning vocalist Crossley Hawn has sung with the Basilica for over a decade, uplifting countless audiences with her clear voice…

10 Verses about God Our Father

Reflect on these 10 verses and learn how God loves and cares for us as Father – and how He calls us to live as His children.

Who is the patron saint of lost things?

On June 13, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church. Remembered for…

Who Was the Wisest Man in the Bible?

During the reign of Solomon, the people of Israel flourished – after defeating their enemies under King David, they dwelt…

Saints of the Trinity Dome: Pt. I

Did you know that the Trinity Dome features a litany of saints who are associated with the United States and the National Shrine?

Who Was the Oldest Pope?

Pope Leo XIII served the Church during a pivotal period in the world’s history. The Industrial Revolution had made great…

Virtually Tour the Chapel of Mary, Help of Christians

Did you know that the Basilica has a chapel dedicated to Mary, Help of Christians? This centuries-old devotion has been…

St. Justin Martyr: Philosopher and Apologist

On June 1, the Church celebrates the Memorial of St. Justin Martyr, an eminent philosopher and apologist for the faith.…

Saints of the North Apse: Guardians of the Poor and Underprivileged

Did you know that the North Apse features a collection of six statues depicting saints who ministered to the poor and underprivileged?

2022 Memorial Mass: Love and Sacrifices on the Path to Peace

On May 22, the Archdiocese of the Military Services, USA hosted its annual Pilgrimage and Memorial Mass at the National Shrine, remembering those who died and reflecting on what it means to serve others and seek peace.

What the Holy Fathers tell us about the Visitation

Today, we invite you to meditate upon Visitation reflections from the Holy Fathers and learn from Mary’s joyous response to God’s call.

Resilience in Suffering: St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

On May 25, we celebrate the feast day of Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. As we reflect on her unwavering devotion,…

Who Was the Disciple Who Replaced Judas?

After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus, the disciples appointed another man to serve alongside them as they strove to fulfill the…

10 Verses for Graduates

It’s the time of year when countless students at high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation celebrate the exhilarating…

What Books of the Bible Did Solomon Write?

During the reign of Solomon, the people of Israel flourished – after defeating their enemies under King David, they dwelt…

Pilgrimages: What you need to know

We are thrilled to welcome pilgrims from across the globe to come experience “America’s Catholic Church” once again.

The Virtues of Mary: A Virtual Tour

As the Mother of God, Mary is honored for her many virtues, setting an example for the faithful in her…

Encouragement for Catholic Mothers: Prayers and Stories of Faith

As we approach Mother’s Day this year, we invite you to read this selection of Mother’s-Day-themed posts from the Basilica.

Virtually Tour the Basilica Gardens

With the grounds currently in full bloom, we invite you to take a virtual walk through the Basilica gardens with us!

The National Shrine Shops Mother’s Day 2022 Collection

As Mother’s Day draws near, we invite you to explore the latest items from the National Shrine Shops.

Rejoicing in the Resurrection

As we celebrate the Easter season, we meditate on the rich mercy and grace Christ offers to us all. We…

Virtually Tour the Our Mother of Good Counsel Chapel

Did you know that the devotion to Our Mother of Good Counsel dates back to the 15th century? For hundreds…

10 Verses About God’s Mercy

As we prepare our hearts for Divine Mercy Sunday, we’re reminded of the greatest gift of mercy ever given: Christ’s…

The Trumpet Will Sound: The Music of the Annual Octave Day of Easter Concert

“Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in an…

Where is Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament?

Theologians and philosophers have puzzled over the mystery of the incarnation for centuries, wondering how it could be that the…

An Easter Virtual Tour

As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection this Easter, we are delighted to announce an all-new virtual tour focusing on where the…

Birds in the Bible and Sacred Art

Learn about the symbolism of birds in sacred art and Scripture, and where you can find these motifs portrayed in the Basilica.

2022 Basilica Holy Week Schedule

Celebrate Holy Week with the Basilica as we meditate on Christ’s sacrifice and rejoice in the new life that we…

How St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle revolutionized education

Jean-Baptiste de La Salle was the last person anyone would have expected to become a leader of educational reform; he…

Download the Spring-Summer 2022 Edition of the Mary’s Shrine Newsletter

Read a message of hope from the Rector and learn about the practice of pilgrimage in the newest edition of the Mary’s Shrine newsletter.

What is 40 Hours Devotion?

As the Basilica observes Lent, an important practice of the season is the custom of 40 Hours Devotion.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: A Peaceful Soul

On March 18, we celebrate the Feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. An early…

4 Irish Saints to Remember on St. Patrick’s Day

While St. Patrick is arguably the most well-recognized Irish saint, there are many others who contributed in significant ways to…

The National Shrine Shops Spring 2022 Collection

As we approach the Easter season, we invite you to explore the latest items from the National Shrine Shops.

10 Inspiring Quotes from Pope Francis

As we celebrate the anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy on March 13, we’re reminded of all the ways he has blessed the faithful…

The 2022 Lenten Reflection Series

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

3 Inspirational Women Saints Depicted in the Basilica

Whether serving as mothers or military commanders, women have enabled the Church to flourish throughout the centuries…

Reflecting Upon the Way of the Cross

During Lent, reflection upon the Stations of the Cross is a beneficial practice as we consider Christ’s sacrifice for us…

God’s Timing in Relationships: Couples of the Bible: Part III

The Bible is filled with stories of married couples; how they were brought together, how their relationships were tested, how…

Your Lent Questions, Answered

Today, Msgr. Rossi, Rector of the Basilica, answers some of the most common questions surrounding Lent and explains why we do what we do.

Prayers for Lent

Lent is a 40-day period of reflection and repentance leading up to the celebration of Easter. During this time, we…

The Providence of God in Relationships: Couples of the Bible: Part II

The Bible is filled with stories of married couples; how they were brought together, how their relationships were tested, how…

Basilica to Be Bathed in Blue and Yellow Light in Solidarity with Ukraine

Basilica to Be Bathed in Blue and Yellow Light in Solidarity with Ukraine Sunday, February 27th through Sunday, March 6th…

Who is the patron saint of Lithuania?

Known for his life of simple devotion and heart for the poor, St. Casimir is beloved as the patron saint of Lithuania and Lithuanian youth.

The Radical Transformation of St. Margaret of Cortona

On February 22 of this year, we honor the 725th anniversary of the passing of St. Margaret of Cortona, a…

St. Boniface of Lausanne: Faithfulness in the Face of Opposition

On February 19, we observe the anniversary of St. Boniface of Lausanne’s passing. Despite facing recurrent opposition, he always kept…

Who invented the mechanical clock?

Pope Sylvester II was a zealous man of faith, whose story reminds us that God has given each of us unique abilities which we can use to glorify Him…

Saints Cyril and Methodius: Champions of the Gospel

February 14 marks the Memorial of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, two brothers known for inventing the early form of the Cyrillic alphabet.

No Perfect Relationship: Couples of the Bible: Part I

The Bible is filled with stories of married couples; how they were brought together, how their relationships were tested, how…

The Extraordinary Gifts of Ordinary Time: A Reflection from Father Raymond Lebrun

As we await the Lenten season, Father Raymond Lebrun, Spiritual Director at the Basilica, reflects on what Ordinary Time means…

Prayers for Married Couples

Marriage is a gift from God – a profound representation of Christ’s relationship with the Church. Through marriage, Christ seeks…

What the Holy Fathers Tell Us About Love and Marriage

As we recognize National Marriage Week, we’re reminded of the importance of embodying love in our marriages and communities. Christ…

Prayers for Love

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows…

The National Shrine Shops Winter 2022 Collection

As we approach Valentine’s Day and Lent, we invite you to explore the latest items from the National Shrine Shops.

Is Jeremiah All About Judgement?

At 1,364 verses, Jeremiah is the longest prophetic book in the Bible – and for good reason: after God’s people…

St. Timothy & St. Titus: Leaders of the Early Church

On January 26, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Timothy and St. Titus, two faithful men of God who were…

Why Did Esau Trade His Birthright for Stew?

The conflict between Jacob and Esau is easily one of the most well-known sibling rivalries in the Old Testament. Jacob’s…

Virtually Tour Memorial Hall

Did you know that Memorial Hall features 14,400 tablets of marble and granite inscribed with the names of National Shrine…

Virtual Tour: Our Lady of Lebanon Chapel

The Chapel of Our Lady of Lebanon features a unique design of stone bricks that is evocative of the early churches of Lebanon.

The Basilica’s Top 10 Virtual Tours of 2021

For the thousands of faithful Catholics around the world who are unable to visit in person, these tours offer immersive experiences of the sacred art and architecture of the Basilica.

Franciscan Saints of the Basilica: A Tribute

Take a deeper look at the lives of some of the most instrumental members of the Franciscan Order who are featured in marble statues in the East Apse.

A Prayer to Our Lady of Hope

Tradition holds that over 150 years ago, the faithful of Pontmain, France were reminded to have faith in God’s plans with the appearance of Our Lady of Hope.

10 Verses About Life

Though many choose to ignore the tragedy of abortion, we as believers have a duty to defend life.

What does the Church teach about the unborn?

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed…

Saints of the Crypt Church: A Virtual Tour – Part III

Considered the heart of the Basilica, the Crypt Church honors 15 saints in glittering gold mosaic chapels, celebrating centuries of…

Reflect on These Prayers for the Unborn

As you pray for those in your community who are struggling to choose life, we encourage you to reflect on these prayers.

The Basilica’s Top 10 Blogposts of 2021

From posts featuring prayers of hope to reflections on Biblical figures, the Basilica blog covers a broad range of topics. Read the top 10 posts of 2021 & strengthen your own devotion.

10 Must-See Videos of 2021

Did you know that the Basilica’s YouTube channel has over 70,000 subscribers? Offering livestreams of sacred music, weekly Masses, spiritual…

A Christmas Gift: A Reflection from Dr. Peter Latona

From Instacart and DoorDash to Amazon and next-day delivery, the shortcuts of modern society have accustomed us to getting what…

Nativity Q&A with Monsignor Vito Buonanno

As we prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christmas, we asked Monsignor Vito Buonanno some common questions about the…

St. John of the Cross and the Dark Night of the Soul

On December 14, we celebrate the Memorial of St. John of Cross, one of the most prominent Christian mystics of all time.

Virtual Tour: Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th, commemorating Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego outside Mexico City.

Why Did God Ask Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?

Though the story of Abraham and Isaac is familiar to many, it is often misunderstood.

3 Prayers to Close the Year of St. Joseph

In honor of the end of the year of St. Joseph, we invite you to reflect on these three prayers by Pope Francis.

St. John Damascene and the Role of Beauty in the Faith

On December 4, we celebrate the feast day of St. John Damascene, who played a pivotal role in the debate over iconography.

Choir of the Basilica Christmas Concert

Friday, December 10, at 7PM – Free and Open to the Public – Due to emergency electrical repairs underway by…

Who is the patron saint of missions?

On December 3, we celebrate the feast of St. Francis Xavier, who tirelessly worked to reach unbelievers with the Gospel.

The 2021 National Shrine Christmas Collection – Pt. II

Still searching for the perfect gift? Find inspiration in this curated collection of sacred jewelry, ornaments, and more!

Guide to Advent and Christmas at the Basilica

As we prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, we invite you to be a part of the special events at the Basilica!

Virtual Tour: The Miraculous Medal Chapel

Did you know that Saint Catherine Labouré first received the devotion of the Miraculous Medal in 1830? This beloved symbol…

Basilica Insider: The Christ in Majesty Mosaic

In 1925, Pope Pius XI instituted the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, as a reminder…

The 2021 National Shrine Christmas Collection – Pt. I

The National Shrine Shops can help you bring the joy of Christmas into your home and the homes of your loved ones.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s Selfless Leadership

A selfless woman of faith, St. Elizabeth of Hungary dedicated herself to the service of others and demonstrated remarkable leadership.

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: A Life of Prayer and Perseverance

On November 18, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, who founded multiple schools in Missouri.

St. Margaret of Scotland: The Just Ruler

On November 16, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Margaret of Scotland, who is remembered for…

St. Josaphat: A Champion for Reform and Reunification

On November 12, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Josaphat, a courageous bishop and martyr who sought to reform the…

St. Michael the Archangel: Warrior and Protector

Today we reflect on the role of St. Michael the Archangel, whom the faithful have long looked to for protection in times of peril.

Basilica Insider: Altar Mosaics of the Crypt Church

Considered the heart of the Basilica, the Crypt Church contains fifteen reredoses (ornamental walls) in the Byzantine mosaic style. These…

Touring the Basilica: What You Need to Know

Thinking about touring the Basilica in-person? Here’s everything you need to know.

Saint Leo the Great: A Steadying Hand in Uncertain Times

On November 10, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Leo the Great, a dedicated theologian and leader of the…

Faith During COVID-19: The Global Impact of Online Mass

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, the Basilica closed to the public for a non-weather-related event for the…

And Peace at the Last: The Music of All Souls

Did you know that the Choir of the Basilica has released a new album for All Souls Day?

What is the significance of All Saints Day?

As we prepare our hearts to celebrate All Saints Day at the Basilica, we asked Father Ayala, Director of Liturgy…

The Story of Moses Part II: Leadership Through Israel’s Unfaithfulness

One of the major figures of the Old Testament, Moses exemplifies how God can use anyone – no matter how…

The Story of Moses – Part I: God’s Strength in Our Weakness

One of the major figures of the Old Testament, Moses exemplifies how God can use anyone – no matter how…

10 Inspirational Quotes from Pope John Paul II

As we celebrate the Feast of Pope John Paul II, we reflect on his timeless wisdom – from his encouragements…

Get to Know Father Ismael Ayala, the New Director of Liturgy

Father Ismael “Mel” Ayala joined the Basilica as Associate Rector and Director of Liturgy in September. Today, Father Mel shares…

Saints of the Crypt Church: A Virtual Tour – Part II

Did you know that the Crypt Church took nearly seven years to complete? Considered the heart of the Basilica, it…

The Prophet Isaiah: Judgement and Hope

“Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow;…

The American Mosaic: Saints of the United States – Pt. III

Today we explore the lives of three fearless women who dedicated themselves to Christ: St. Kateri Tekakwitha…

Virtual Tour: Angels of the Basilica

For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go. With their hands they shall…

Our Lady of the Rosary: A Virtual Tour

On October 7, we celebrate the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, which was first instituted by Saint Pius…

Who Is the Universal Patron of Charity?

St. Vincent de Paul is the Universal Patron of Charity, known for cofounding the Sisters of Charity with St. Louise de Marillac.

The Centennial Finale: Highlights from the Basilica’s 100-year Celebration

As our centennial year comes to a close, we invite you to take a look at the special posts celebrating our 100 years as America’s Catholic Church.

Download the Fall-Winter 2021 Edition of the Mary’s Shrine Newsletter

Curious to read the latest news and information about the Basilica? Download the newest edition of the Mary’s Shrine newsletter today!

The Light of La Salette: A Promise of Hope

September 19 of this year marks the 175th anniversary of the Apparition at La Salette. Learn more about this devotion…

What is the origin of the devotion to Our Lady of Camarin?

Did you know that the Oratory of Our Lady of Camarin was dedicated on September 17 in 2006? As we…

The National Shrine Shops Fall Collection

The National Shrine Shops are back with a newly curated collection just in time for fall. We invite you to browse…

Basilica to Celebrate a Special Mass and Present Nearly Half a Million Dollars in Donations Received for the Restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Thursday, September 16 at 12:10 pm His Eminence Wilton Cardinal Gregory Archbishop of Washington Celebrant and Homilist Reverend Monsignor Patrick…

Saint John Chrysostom, the Golden Mouth

St. John Chrysostom was unafraid to criticize the evils of his society and government, no matter what the cost.

Virtual Tour: Our Lady of Sorrows

As we observe the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15, we meditate on Mary’s sorrows as the…

Jesuit Saints of the Basilica: A Tribute

Discover the stories of some of the most influential Jesuit fathers who are featured in marble statues in the West Apse.

Celebrating the Life of Mother Teresa: A Witness of Charity

As we celebrate the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s entrance into eternal life on September 5, we reflect on her witness of charity, selfless service, and heartfelt compassion.

Prayers for Workers

This Labor Day, we turn our hearts to those in the workforce, those in search of employment, and those who have worked under unjust conditions.

Virtual Tour: Our Lady of Hungary

Did you know that the Chapel of Our Lady of Hungary was dedicated on August 29 in 2015? As we…

Virtual Tour: Our Lady of Czestochowa

Today, we invite you to learn more about the devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa and explore where it is honored at the basilica virtually.

3 Exceptional Catholic Educators

As the summer comes to a close and students return to school, we are highlighting the lives of three Catholic…

Faces of the Basilica: TV Host and Docent, Dave Zahren

Not only is Dave Zahren a docent at the Basilica, but he has taught students all around the world – in America, Kenya, and even on live television!

The God of Second Chances: The Story of Cain and Abel

While filled with tragedy, the story of Cain and Abel teaches us a valuable lesson about living with sincerity. Through…

St. John Eudes: Defender of Outcasts

Born in Normandy in 1601, St. John Eudes was a French priest who encouraged the devotion to the Sacred Hearts…

The American Mosaic: Saints of the United States – Pt. II.

We’re celebrating how the Basilica honors the different cultures, peoples, and traditions that are the fabric of the Catholic faith in the United States.

The Assumption of Mary: A Virtual Tour

According to Church tradition, Mary was drawn up into heaven by God. Each year on August 15, we celebrate this…

3 Prayers for Education

“The Church needs men and women who are intent on teaching by word and example – intent on helping to…

Celebrating 20 Years of Music with Dr. Peter Latona

August 1 marks the 20th anniversary of Dr. Peter Latona’s appointment as Director of Music at the Basilica.

Behind the Melodies: The Music of the Organs of the Basilica

This summer, the organists of the Basilica have produced a collection of videos showcasing the majestic instruments and talented musicians…

Glorifying the Mystery of Love: St. Peter Julian Eymard

“Belong entirely to God through love, entirely to your neighbor through a gracious charity, entirely to the divine Eucharist by…

Basilica Announces New Director of Liturgy: Father Ismael Ayala to Succeed Father Michael Weston

His Eminence, Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Washington and Chairman of the National Shrine Board of Trustees, has released…

The God Who Hears: The Story of St. Lazarus

On July 29, we celebrate the feast day of St. Martha, in addition to her siblings, St. Mary, and St.…

Basilica Insider: The Knights Tower Carillon

Piercing the heavens at an awe-inspiring height of 329 feet, the Knights Tower is rivaled in the Capitol only by the Washington Monument.

3 Prayers for Grandparents

“Even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made,…

What We Can Learn from St. Lawrence of Brindisi

“The Holy Spirit sweetens the yoke of the divine law and lightens its weight, so that we may observe God’s…

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel: A Virtual Tour

As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16, we invite you to reflect on…

Glorifying God in the Ordinary: St. Bonaventure

On July 15, we celebrate the Feast of St. Bonaventure, who was known for his spiritual leadership in the Franciscan…

The American Mosaic: Saints of the United States – Pt. I

This July, we’re celebrating how the Basilica honors the different cultures, peoples, and traditions that are the fabric of the…

Prayers for the Nation

This Independence Day, we thank God for all of the blessings we have received as a nation. As our country…

Announcing: the Basilica’s Summer Organ Recital Series Returns

Did you know that two years have passed since the Basilica’s last organ recital? In the summer of 2020, the Basilica…

Celebrating a Century as America’s Catholic Church

As we continue the celebration of our centennial year, this Independence Day we reflect on the National Shrine’s role as “America’s Catholic Church.”

The man who defeated Gnosticism: St. Irenaeus

One of the Church’s first systematic theologians, Irenaeus is considered one of the most influential early Christian thinkers. On June…

Saints of the Crypt Church: A Virtual Tour – Part I

Uncover the stories of the saints of the East Apse – five women whose bravery and commitment to the cross continue to inspire Catholics around the world today.

Miriam: the Woman Who Helped Save a Nation

One of the few prophetesses in the Bible, Miriam is primarily recognized for the role she played in saving the life of her brother, Moses.

The Light of Our Lady of Holy Hostýn

Today, we invite you to learn about how the devotion to Our Lady of Holy Hostýn originated, and how it is honored at the Basilica.

Remembering the Martyrs of Vietnam

Between 1630 and 1886, it is estimated that somewhere between 130,000 and 300,000 Christians were martyred in Vietnam.

The Miracle of Our Lady of Grace of Montenero

Did you know that the devotion to Our Lady of Grace of Montenero began in the 14th century in Livorno, Italy? Learn about the history of this devotion.

10 Verses for Fathers

As Father’s Day draws near, we invite you to meditate on these 10 verses for fathers.

What is the origin of the devotion to Our Lady of Antipolo?

Did you know that June 7 marks the anniversary of the dedication of the Oratory of Our Lady of Antipolo?…

What is the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Celebrated on the third Friday after Pentecost, the devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus recognizes Jesus’ great love for us as symbolized by His heart.

Basilica Insider: Making the Trinity Dome

Today, we are offering you an inside look into the making of the Trinity Dome, the largest and final dome installed at the National Shrine.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The parable of the prodigal son is perhaps one of the most well-known parables mentioned in Scripture. Not only does it paint a picture of God’s love for us…

God, Our Loving Father

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,…

Visiting the Basilica: What You Need to Know

While a visit to the Basilica looks different now than it has in the past, don’t let coronavirus stop you from coming to Mary’s Shrine…

May as the Month of Mary: A Reflection from Monsignor Vito Buonanno

The month of May is a designated time for the faithful to honor Mary in their devotions and celebrate…

The Sanctification Dome Mosaic: The Imagery of Pentecost

With over 1.25 million pieces of glass, the resplendent Sanctification Dome mosaic covers a staggering 3,950 sq. feet and features…

Basilica to Resume Pre-Pandemic Sunday Mass Schedule on Pentecost

Daily Masses, Devotions, and Confession to be Expanded Beginning with Pentecost, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate…

Mary, Mother of the Church: A Virtual Tour

On the Monday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, honoring Mary’s role in guiding and directing…

Virtual Tour: The Mysteries of the Rosary

“Let us Pray, O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection, has purchased for us the…

Guide to Art: The Rosary Garden

Completed in 2017, the Rosary Walk and Garden provides a peaceful space for prayer and meditation outside the Basilica…

The Enduring Light of Fatima: Wisdom from 3 Popes

On May 13, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, a Marian devotion known for providing peace and comfort in times…

Life with Lepers: The Extraordinary Story of St. Damien

“All of us will die of something. Damien died of love.” – Bernard Bangley You are going to die. It…

Basilica Chosen by the Holy See to Lead Worldwide Rosary to Pray for an End to the Pandemic

Monday, May 17 at 12 pm ET/6 pm in Rome – Faithful Invited to Join In-Person or Online The Basilica…

Faces of the Basilica: Greta and Victor David

For Greta and Victor, the Basilica hasn’t just been another church – it’s been life-changing. Read their story in today’s interview post.

Joseph: God’s Providence and the Power of Forgiveness

Many are familiar with the story of Joseph; with family drama, a colorful tunic, and bizarre dreams, it stands out among…

3 Prayers for Mothers

Whether you know someone who is expecting, or simply wish to pray for the mothers in your community, we hope …

God’s Faithfulness in Infertility: The Story of Hannah

One of the strong female figures in the Old Testament, Hannah demonstrates the power of trusting in God and His…

10 Verses for Mothers

As we approach Mother’s Day, we invite you to meditate on these 10 verses for mothers – reflecting on the gift of motherhood.

A Marian Prayer for Wisdom

Did you know that the devotion to Our Mother of Good Counsel dates to the 15th century? When faced with…

A Champion for Human Dignity: St. Anselm of Canterbury

On April 21, we celebrate the Feast of St. Anselm of Canterbury, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. In an…

The Samaritan Woman: New Life in Christ

The story of the Samaritan woman, also known as the woman at the well, draws our attention to the central…

The Five Domes of the Basilica: A Virtual Tour

The Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is composed of five distinctive…

Honoring Our Lady of Altötting at the Basilica

Did you know that April 16 marks the 16th anniversary of the dedication of the Our Lady of Altötting Oratory at the Basilica?

A Guide to Basilica Art: The Exterior of the Basilica

In today’s Guide to Art post, we invite you to explore the Basilica’s intricate exterior relief carvings and what they represent.

Shining Christ’s Light: The Paschal Candle

“May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.” In this reflection, we…

He is Risen: The Triumph of Easter

What does it mean that Christ not only died for our sins, but rose triumphant from the dead? How does that impact how we live out our faith?

A Prayer to Our Lady of Ephesus

“Then [Jesus] said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”…

Basilica Congregation Capacity Increased to 1,000 for Holy Week & Easter

Additional Tickets Available at 5 p.m. today at www.nationalshrine.org/mass-registration The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is pleased…

What is the Significance of Palm Sunday?

“Joyful acclamations at Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, followed by his humiliation. Festive cries followed by brutal torture. This twofold mystery…

Elijah: A Faithful Prophet in a Time of Adversity

Elijah was a mighty prophet during a turbulent time in Israel’s history…

Download the Spring-Summer 2021 Edition of the Mary’s Shrine Newsletter

Interested in the latest news and information about the Basilica of the National Shrine?

Irish Saints of the Basilica: A Virtual Tour

As we celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick, we are exploring the stories of some of Ireland’s most well-loved saints…

Lent: Why We Do What We Do: Part II

As we continue to observe the Lenten season, the priests of the Basilica discuss the practices that we associate with…

St. Joseph’s Example of Fatherhood: a Virtual Tour

Did you know that this year we celebrate the Year of St. Joseph? December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021…

Great Women of the Bible: A Virtual Tour

The Bible is full of faithful women who glorified the Lord through their lives, and as we navigate life’s challenges…

Basilica Resumes 24 Hours for the Lord: 40 Hours Devotion

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will resume 40 Hours Devotion in observance of Pope Francis’…

Looking to Our Lady of Good Health in 2021

Known as “the Lourdes of the East,” the devotion to Our Lady of Good Health (Vailankanni) comes from India. As…

The National Shrine Shops Spring Collection

This spring, the staff at the National Shrine Shops have curated a list of their bestselling items for the seasons of Lent and Easter…

Bishop Thomas Shahan: Founder of “America’s Catholic Church”

“A glorious church… speaks with a divine eloquence that nothing can equal.” – Bishop Thomas Shahan The name Thomas Shahan…

The Perfect Love of God

Relationships end, friends drift away, and even our own family members fail us at times. Human love is fickle and…

The Triumph of the Lamb Mosaic: The Imagery of Revelation

Spanning 3,340 square feet, The Triumph of the Lamb dome mosaic is the culmination of the five domes in the…

The 2021 Lenten Reflection Series Schedule

Lent is a time for all of us to examine our hearts, responding in humility and repentance as we consider…

Basilica to Resume Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. Beginning with the First Sunday of Lent

Beginning with the First Sunday of Lent, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will resume its…

Pray the Stations of the Cross with the Basilica

“At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.” – Stabat Mater…

Basilica Insider: The Great Dome

The Great Dome is one of the two visual hallmarks of the National Shrine. Covered in glistening polychrome tiles, it…

Lent: Why We Do What We Do — Part I

As we enter the Lenten season, the priests of the Basilica discuss the practices that we associate with Lent, why…

What Can We Learn from the Couples of the Bible? — Part II

The Bible is filled with stories of married couples; how they were brought together, how their relationships were tested, and…

10 Verses for Couples

At the dawn of Creation, God gave Eve to be to a helper for Adam, because “It [was] not good…

A Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes

We invite you to take a virtual look around the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes and enjoy the 360°…

What Can We Learn from the Couples of the Bible? — Part I

The Bible is filled with stories of married couples; how they were brought together, how their relationships were tested, and…

10 Verses About Love

Love.The word appears over 300 times in the Bible. Love is essential to the character of God…

Biblical Figures: Elisha, Miracle Worker

The successor to Elijah, Elisha served as a prophet and miracle worker during a tumultuous time in Israel’s history. Though…

The Importance of Vocation: St. Vincent Pallotti’s Legacy

“Holiness is simply to do God’s will, always and everywhere.” – St. Vincent Pallotti On January 22, we commemorate the…

Prayers for the Unborn

Today, on January 22, as we observe the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, we invite you to reflect upon…

What St. Agnes Teaches Us About Faith

Celebrated on January 21, St. Agnes is a martyr from the early Church in Rome. Though she was only a…

Basilica to Join Nationwide Memorial & Tribute in Honor of the Lives Lost to COVID-19

January 19, 2021 Basilica to Join Nationwide Memorial & Tribute in Honor of the Lives Lost to COVID-19 3.6 Ton…

Looking to Our Lady of Hope in 2021

Throughout the centuries, the faithful have looked to Christ for hope in times of trouble and uncertainty. Christ offers hope…

What is the origin of the Infant Jesus of Prague?

Observed on January 14, the Feast of the Infant Jesus of Prague celebrates the mystery of the Incarnation. Originating in…

A Guide to Art: the Trinity Dome Windows

Circling beneath the Trinity Dome mosaic, 36 majestic stained-glass windows complement its shimmering gold…

The Fruit of the Spirit Part III: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control

What is this fruit, how does the Bible define it, and how is it displayed in our Christian walk?

10 Psalms of Hope

As we begin a new year, we can experience hope in God, who brings healing to a broken world, and…

Who was the first American man to become a saint?

Did you know that Saint John Nepomucene Neumann was the first male American to be canonized? He is the patron of immigrants and sick children.

St. Basil the Great: Warrior Against Arianism

Celebrated on January 2, St. Basil the Great lived when disagreements about Arianism were pervasive and divisive. Arius, a citizen…

Honoring Mary as the Mother of God: Virtual Art Tour

January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which honors Mary’s role as the Mother of the Savior.…

A Guide to Basilica Art: Relief Sculptures

You might be wondering: what exactly is relief sculpture? Relief sculpting is when a medium is molded against a flat surface…

Christmas with Fresh Eyes: A Reflection from Msgr. Rossi

Christmas is one of the most important celebrations of the Christian faith – and for good reason: it celebrates Christ’s…

Christmas Music at the Basilica: A Bird’s Eye View

A conversation between Dr. Peter Latona and Gilbert Spencer On a late Sunday afternoon in Advent, I happened by the choral…

Basilica to Implement Registration & Ticketing for the First Time

Basilica to Implement Registration & Ticketing for the First Time For Sundays and Holy Days beginning December 20 through the…

A Guide to Basilica Art: Ambulatory Windows of the Great Upper Church

In the four ambulatories of the Great Upper Church, there are four intricate stained-glass windows depicting the four ends of…

The Fruit of the Spirit Part II: Patience, Kindness, Generosity

Those who are in Christ are distinguished from unbelievers in that they have been gifted with the Holy Spirit, enabling them to bear fruit…

St. Juan Diego and the Miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe

St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin is known for receiving the vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Born in 1474 in Cuautlitlán,…

Why Do We Celebrate the Immaculate Conception?

In honor of the Basilica’s patronal feast day, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we asked Monsignor Rossi, Rector of the Basilica, to explain why this day is so important…

The Reluctant Leader: St. Ambrose

On December 7, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Though St. Ambrose was…

A Guide to the Joyful Mysteries

“The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy…

What Can We Learn from Noah?

In the latest Biblical Figures post, the story of Noah and the Flood demonstrates both the gravity of God’s justice and the promise of His salvation.

The National Shrine Christmas Collection

This year, the staff at the National Shrine Shops have put together a list of their bestselling items for Christmas gifts.

A Guide to Advent and Christmas 2020

Though our celebration of the Advent and Christmas seasons looks different this year, our reason to rejoice remains constant…

The Days of Advent: A Centennial Celebration

Each Sunday of Advent, a new “booklet” will be added to this page. These booklets may be downloaded and printed for personal and family use.

Celebrating Thankfulness at the Basilica

As we approach Thanksgiving, we’ve asked the faithful what they are grateful for at the Basilica – and why. Whether…

10 Verses About Thanksgiving

This year has brought a variety of challenges and struggles for the faithful across the globe. Yet even as we…

A Song of the Heart: St. Cecilia and Sacred Music

On November 22, the Church traditionally observes the Feast of St. Cecilia, the patroness of music, musicians, instrument makers, and…

Celebrating Our Redemption

“In Him we have redemption by His blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of His grace…”…

Prayers for Those in the Military

As we approach Veteran’s Day, we think of the many men and women in uniform serving our country. Whether in…

From the Army to the Basilica: An Interview with Walter Robinson, Security Guard

In honor of Veteran’s Day, we had a conversation with Basilica security guard and World War II veteran Walter Robinson…

The Beginning and End: the Transept Mosaics of the Upper Church

In November of 1973, the twin mosaics The Creation and The Second Coming were dedicated. Hours upon hours of work…

In Paradisum: Music for All Saints and All Souls

Vincent Fung, who is currently an Administrative Assistant for the Office of Music and Liturgy, has served in various capacities at…

Who Were Simon and Jude?

Simon and Jude (also known as Judas or Thaddeus) are two of the lesser-known disciples, but though they are not…

Statement from Monsignor Walter Rossi on the Elevation of Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the College of Cardinals

On behalf of the priests, religious, and staff of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, I…

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Basilica

1. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic church in North America,…

The Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” – Galatians 5:22-23 Those who…

What We Can Learn from St. Anthony Claret

On October 24, we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret, founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…

Calm in the Heart of Jesus: the Faith of Mother Théodore Guérin

What strength the soul draws from prayer! In the midst of a storm, how sweet is the calm it finds…

2 Marian Prayers for Peace and Grace

Today we reflect on two Marian prayers for peace and grace, exploring the history behind the chapels…

A Marian Prayer for Missions

October 14 marks the anniversary of the dedication of the Mary, Queen of Missions Chapel in 1967. This sacred space…

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

During Jesus’ ministry, parables were a key component of His teaching style. Through parables, Jesus communicated the truth of the…

Living with Lions: The Story of Daniel

This post is the fifth installment in the Basilica’s Biblical Figures series, which highlights the stories of the individuals throughout the…

A Prayer of Marian Protection: The Devotion of Pokrov

October 6 marks the anniversary of the dedication of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Chapel, focused on the Holy Protection of the Theotokos.

Animals in the Art of the Basilica

Since the creation mandate, humans have been charged by God with the care and stewardship of the earth…

Download the Fall-Winter Edition of the Mary’s Shrine Newsletter

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

Who Translated the Vulgate?

Celebrated on September 30, St. Jerome was one of the great intellectuals of the Church, creating a Bible translation that…

A Prayer for Marian Provision: the Miracle of Mariazell

Known as the Great Mother of Austria, Our Lady of Mariazell provides guidance and provision. On September 27, 1992, the…

“Distinctively American”: The Architectural Vision of the National Shrine

When Bishop Thomas Shahan first guided the construction of the National Shrine, he sought an aesthetic that would reflect the…

100 Years in Video at America’s Catholic Church

See the most significant events of “America’s Catholic Church” captured on film in this post highlighting historic video from the National Shrine.

Watch the Basilica’s Centennial Mass

On September 20, 2020, the National Shrine held a special Mass in honor of the 100th anniversary of the placing…

100th Anniversary of the Placing of the Foundation Stone Mass to Inaugurate Centennial Jubilee Year

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will inaugurate a year-long celebration of the centennial of the…

The Beauty of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel

On September 20, 1970, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was dedicated by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle on the golden jubilee of his…

What makes the National Shrine “America’s Catholic Church”?

In honor of our centennial, we’ve asked the faithful to share their favorite memories of the National Shrine and what…

A Conversation with the Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich

Ambassador Callista Gingrich has been involved in the life of America’s Catholic Church for years – from singing in the…

What Made Pope Gregory so Great?

Known as Saint Gregory the Great, Pope Gregory called himself the “servant of the servants of God.” This humble pope…

A Marian Prayer for Deliverance: Reflecting on the Miracles of Vailankanni

On September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of Mary, reflecting on the moment the Blessed Mother was brought into this…

The Guidance of Our Lady of Charity

On September 4, we celebrate the anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica’s Our Lady of Charity Oratory, honoring the…

The Stories of 3 Great Saint Educators

As the school year begins, we wanted to share the stories of faithful saints who were instrumental in furthering education.

The National Shrine: Then and Now

Built by generations of faithful American Catholics to honor the patroness of our nation, the Basilica of the National Shrine…

Celebrating Mary’s Queenship of Heaven and Earth

May the Virgin Mary, crowned Queen, intercede for us… that we [may] imitate her in faithfully fulfilling God’s will on…

The Impact of Pope Pius X on the National Shrine

On August 21, we celebrate the Memorial of Pope Saint Pius X. The son of peasants, he was born as…

100 Years in Pictures at America’s Catholic Church

As we approach the National Shrine’s centennial, we’re taking a look at some of the most significant events in its history…

The Spiritual Leadership of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

On August 20, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor and Abbot of the Church. One of…

Why We Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption

Commemorating Mary’s assumption into heaven, the Solemnity of the Assumption is celebrated on August 15.

Making the LEGO Basilica: A Conversation with Artist John Davisson

With 8,100 individual parts, the first-ever LEGO model of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is truly a marvel…

Basilica Insider: The Making of The Universal Call to Holiness

One of the largest relief sculptures in the world, The Universal Call to Holiness offers an awe-inspiring visualization of a…

“For Such a Time as This” – the Story of Esther

This post is the fourth installment in the Basilica’s Biblical Figures series, which highlights the stories of the individuals throughout…

St. Lawrence and the True Treasure of the Church

The feast of St. Lawrence is celebrated on August 10. As a deacon in the early Church in Rome, St.…

The Meaning of the Transfiguration of the Lord

On August 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. At the Basilica, the Transfiguration is depicted…

Honoring Our Lady of China at the Basilica

On August 3, 2002, the mosaic of Our Lady of China was dedicated. Residing in the west nave stair hall…

The Significance of the Dignities of the Basilica

One of the most significant events in the life of the National Shrine was when it was elevated to the rank of a minor basilica…

Faces of the Basilica: A Knight of Columbus Tells His Story

“Mary is my name. Mary is my sound. For Knights to God and country bound and all who hear my…

A Testament to God’s Deliverance: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Even when king heated his furnace to seven times the usual temperature, none of the flames could touch Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

St. Camillus de Lellis: Demonstrating Christ’s Love to the Sick

As you go, make this proclamation: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse…

Basilica Insider: The Art of Mary Stratton in America’s Catholic Church

The name Mary Chase Stratton may not be familiar to most American Catholics, but her indelible mark on sacred art…

Jonah: A Story of God’s Mercy

The story of Jonah is one with unusual characters: an unwilling witness, a giant fish, and an evil nation.

Celebrating the Anniversary of the Incarnation Dome

“For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of…

St. Kateri Tekakwitha: The “Lily of the Mohawks”

On July 14, we celebrate the Memorial of the Virgin Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Indigenous American to be canonized…

St. Maria Goretti and the Power of Forgiveness

July 6 is the feast day of Maria Goretti, the patroness of purity, young women, and victims of assault. Though…

9 American Landmarks Portrayed in the Basilica’s Art

Did you know that the Basilica’s specifically portrays Mary’s guardianship of the United States? The west and east transept galleries…

The Unwavering Devotion of Saint Thomas the Apostle

On July 3, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. Though he has been nicknamed “Doubting Thomas,” the moniker obscures his unwavering devotion to Christ…

Four American Saints Honored in the Basilica

The National Shrine reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of the United States and the unity and universality of the Catholic Church…

Faces of the Basilica: An Interview with Sophia

When Sophia first visited the Basilica on an elementary school field trip, she had no idea how significant of a…

The Tradition of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

June 27 is the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, who is known for miracles and answers to…

The Motherly Protection of Our Lady of Ta’Pinu

Over 130 years ago on June 22, the Blessed Mother directed a woman on the island of Gozo to pray…

St. Thomas More: Integrity in Public Life

“What did Nature ever create milder, sweeter and happier than the genius of Thomas More?” – Erasmus On June 22,…

A Reflection on Christian Fatherhood

This year on June 21, we celebrate and honor the fathers who have raised us and cared for us. Fathers act…

The Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Inspiration of Mary’s Love

June 20 is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Marian devotion focuses on the…

Ruth and Naomi: A Story of Redemption

The Book of Ruth is a beautiful example of how God can take a hopeless situation and turn it into something glorious.

The Angels of the Basilica

Scattered throughout countless chapels and oratories, the Basilica’s angels are integral to its sacred art…

June 12 Statements from Church Leadership Regarding Msgr. Rossi

Statement of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate…

Saint Barnabas, the “Son of Encouragement”

On June 11, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Barnabas, who was an influential leader in the early church, bringing…

How Saint Boniface Brought the Gospel to Germany

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son…

Understanding the Doctrine of the Trinity

The first Sunday after Pentecost is known as the Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity, focusing on the doctrine that…

Charles Lwanga: Faithful Unto Death

On June 3, we celebrate the Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga, who remained steadfast in his faith in the face…

Basilica Insider: Catalan Vaulting in America’s Catholic Church

As we approach the Basilica’s centennial anniversary this September, we are highlighting the sacred art and architecture that makes “America’s…

Basilica to Join Pope Francis in Praying the Rosary Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in North America and the…

A Guide to Basilica Art: Bronze Sculptures of the Crypt Church

In today’s installment of our Guide to Basilica Art series, we highlight the bronze sculptures in the Crypt Level…

A Guide to the Miracles of Jesus in the Basilica

The beauty and mystery of the incarnation is that Christ was at once fully man and fully divine. During his earthly ministry…

What Happened at Pentecost?

The disciples experienced a series of dramatic highs and lows ­– they had seen Jesus die, come back to life, and ascend to heaven…

Why Do We Observe the Solemnity of the Ascension?

On May 24, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. After Jesus’ resurrection, the time came…

The National Shrine’s Connection to Saint Joan of Arc

One hundred years ago, on May 16, 1920, Saint Joan of Arc was canonized. This woman’s legendary bravery has earned…

100th Anniversary of the Blessing of the Land

May 16, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the blessing of the site of the future Basilica of the National…

Our Lady of Fatima: Protection and Guidance in Uncertain Times

On May 13, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, looking to the Blessed Mother for peace and…

A Tribute to Mary, Mother of Mankind

On May 8, 1937, the day before Mother’s Day of that year, the National Shrine unveiled the Mary, Mother of…

Basilica “Lights it Blue” to Support Healthcare Workers

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will be illuminated in blue each evening through Monday, May…

Victory Over Sin: Our Lady of Pompei

144 years ago, on May 8, 1876, the cornerstone was laid for a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the…

A Tribute to 3 Mothers of the Church

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month, we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on the stories of three mother saints…

Basilica to Participate in Nationwide Renewal of Consecration to Mary, Mother of the Church

Basilica to Participate in Nationwide Renewal of Consecration to Mary, Mother of the Church Friday, May 1 at 3 p.m.…

Boldness in the Face of Corruption: St. Catherine of Siena’s Life and Legacy

“The world is lost through silence.” – St. Catherine of Siena On April 29, we celebrate the Feast of Saint…

“To Jesus Through Mary” – the Devotion to Mary, Queen of All Hearts

On April 28, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, Founder of the Society of Mary…

The Life and Gospel of Saint Mark the Evangelist

On April 25, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Although he was not a direct disciple of…

Download the Spring/Summer Edition of Mary’s Shrine

We invite you to download your copy of the Mary’s Shrine newsletter to receive the latest news and information about the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception…

The Music of the Easter Season: Adapting to the Challenges of Coronavirus

From the Basilica Music Department As ashes were distributed and the haunting strains of Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus filled the cavernous…

Soli Deo Gloria: The Majestic Organs of the Basilica

The organs of the Basilica bring dignity and majesty to worship, leading thousands in prayer and praise…

Victory and New Life: The Glorious Mysteries

As we enter the season of Easter, we reflect on the Glorious Mysteries during this celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death, rejoicing in the new life that we have been given…

Music and the Church: An Interview with Associate Director of Music Ben LaPrairie – Part II

Music plays a vital role in the liturgy at the Basilica. The musicians of the Basilica strive to create music…

A Guide to the Stained Glass of the Basilica

Did you know that the Basilica contains stained glass windows with nine different national monuments, including…

Music and the Church: An Interview with Associate Director of Music Ben LaPrairie

Music plays a vital role in the liturgy at the Basilica. The musicians of the Basilica strive to create music…

Join Us Virtually as We Observe Palm Sunday, Holy Week & Easter

We rejoice in the new life and joy that is ours through the Risen Christ as we look ahead to…

A Guide to the Sorrowful Mysteries at the Basilica

The Sorrowful Mysteries are traditionally prayed as part of the Rosary, providing the opportunity to meditate on…

Mary, the Handmaid of the Lord: the Solemnity of the Annunciation

On March 25, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation, when the angel announced to Mary that…

Turning to Christ, the Good Shepherd, in the Face of Uncertainty

When life becomes difficult, and circumstances grow uncertain, one thing remains the same yesterday, today, and forever…

Hope Amidst the Challenge of Coronavirus: A Reflection from the Rector of the Basilica

Dear Friend of Mary’s Shrine, I think you will agree with me when I state, we have never lived in…

St. Joseph at Mary’s Shrine: Guardian and Defender

March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus and the patron of the Universal Church.…

Basilica Adds Livestream of Devotions Following Livestream of Noon Mass for the Remaining Sundays of Lent

In an effort to provide for the faithful who rely on Mary’s Shrine as a place of prayer, peace and…

Basilica Closed to the Public Until Further Notice

Basilica Closed to the Public on March 17 at 12 Noon Until Further Notice Mass to be Livestreamed Sundays at…

The Real Story of Saint Patrick

“Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.” – the…

A Guide to Basilica Art: Mosaics of the Great Upper Church

The Basilica is home to a massive collection of mosaic artistry, which is characteristic of its Byzantine-Romanesque style…

St. Louise de Marillac’s Unconventional Consecrated Life

March 15, 2020, marks the 360th anniversary of St. Louise de Marillac’s entrance into eternal life. Though her feast day…

Where to Find 7 Extraordinary Women of the Bible in the Basilica

International Women’s Day is March 8, celebrating the accomplishments of women around the world…

Joy in the Face of Suffering: Saints Perpetua and Felicity

On March 7, we observe the Feast of Saints Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs of the early church in Carthage. In…

Saint Katharine Drexel’s Heart for Racial Justice

On March 3, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Katharine Drexel, the second American-born saint to be canonized. “Mother” Katharine,…

The 2020 Lenten Reflection Series Schedule

The 40 days of Lent provide a time to reflect on the solemnity of the Lord’s sacrifice and prepare our…

Liturgy at the Basilica: An Inside Look – Part II

At Mary’s Shrine, pilgrims and visitors can encounter Christ through His Blessed Mother, the Word, the Sacraments, and Devotions. What…

Preparing Our Hearts for Lent this Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, a 40-day period of repentance and renewal leading up to Easter…

What is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter?

“Grant, we pray, almighty God,  that no tempests may disturb us, for you have set us fast on the rock…

A Conversation with Basilica Organist Andrew Vu

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

Liturgy at the Basilica: An Inside Look

At Mary’s Shrine, pilgrims and visitors can encounter Christ through His Blessed Mother, the Word, the Sacraments, and Devotions. What…

A Guide to the Luminous Mysteries at the Basilica

Instituted by Pope John Paul II in 2002 in his apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the Luminous Mysteries…

Honoring Our Lady of Lourdes in the Basilica

On February 11, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Basilica honors the Blessed Mother under this…

Celebrating Josephine Bakhita’s Story of Hope

On February 8, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita, the patroness of Sudan and victims of human trafficking.…

A Moment in History: the Papal Tiara at the Basilica

Fifty-two years ago, on February 6, 1968, Pope Paul VI’s coronation tiara was presented to the National Shrine by Archbishop…

What Does the Bible Say about Love?

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a…

Why We Celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

“God enters the temple not as a powerful ruler but as a little child in his Mother’s arms. The King…

Honoring Saint Brigid, Patroness of Ireland, in the Basilica

On February 1, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Brigid of Ireland, dubbed a “fiery sunbeam of love” by historian…

Saint John Bosco’s Heart for Orphans

On January 31, we celebrate the Feast of Saint John Bosco, whose heart for orphans inspired the founding of the…

The Man Who Shaped 700 Years of Catholic Doctrine: Saint Thomas Aquinas

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you…

What Do You Know about the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle?

On January 25, we celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle. His radical transformation is demonstrative…

What is the National Prayer Vigil for Life?

“I am thankful for the thousands that gather at the National Shrine, and the many thousands that march for life…

Our Lady of Hope: Sustaining Us in Times of Trouble

The Tradition of Our Lady of Hope Tradition holds that during the Franco-Prussian War, Mary appeared to six children on…

The Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children – a Reflection

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you,…

The Significance of the Baptism of the Lord

In the liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord signifies the end of the Christmas season. The…

Who Was the First American to Be Canonized as a Saint?

On January 4, we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the ​first American​ to…

What the Gifts of the Magi Tell Us about Jesus

Epiphany celebrates the Magi’s journey to worship Jesus. It represents the coming of Jesus to all…

Where to Find Mary Portrayed as the Mother of God in the Basilica

On January 1, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, honoring Mary’s role as the Mother of God. This day also gives us the opportunity to reflect upon the mystery of the incarnation…

Celebrating a New Year and God’s Renewal

“Christian hope is based on faith in God who always creates newness in the life of mankind.” – Pope Francis…

Honoring the Holy Family at the Basilica

As we observe the Feast of the Holy Family, honoring Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, we seek to imitate the model…

Who was “the disciple Jesus loved”?

As the author of a Gospel account, three epistles, and the book of Revelation, John was not only a close friend of Jesus during his time, but a spiritual teacher for the ages.

Who was the first martyr for Christ?

On December 26, we honor Saint Stephen, who was the first person to be martyred for Christ. Living in the first community of Christians in Jerusalem…

The Tradition of the Blessing of the Bambinelli

As we prepare for Christmas at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, we have many special…

Who Was the Father of the “Catholic Press”?

On December 21, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Peter Canisius, who was a stabilizing force for the Catholic Church…

Christmas in D.C. – The National Shrine’s Christmas Dinner Tradition

For over 40 years, the Basilica has served thousands in the community around the nation’s capital with a free Christmas…

Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Basilica

On December 12, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The National Shrine honors the Blessed Mother…

The Music of Christmas at the National Shrine

As Christmas approaches, Dr. Peter Latona, Director of Music for the Basilica, reflects on the music of Christmas…

St. Lucy: Reflecting Christ’s Light as We Approach the Christmas Season

Though her story is tragic, the legacy of St. Lucy lives on in a celebration of hope and light…

Celebrating the Basilica’s Patronal Feast: The Immaculate Conception

Observed this year on December 9, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is the patronal feast day of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and of our nation…

A Guide to Advent and Christmas at the Basilica

Advent and Christmas are filled with anticipation and joy as we look forward to and commemorate the birth of Christ…

Who Was the First Disciple to Be Called by Jesus?

On November 30, we observe the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, the first disciple to be called by Jesus…

The Story Behind the Miraculous Medal

On November 27 and 28, we celebrate the gift of the Miraculous Medal, and honor Saint Catherine Labouré, who first…

Why We Celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

As waves of nationalism and secularism were on the rise across the globe, Pope Pius XI instituted the Solemnity of Christ the King in…

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Dedication of the National Shrine

60 years ago, on November 20, 1959, the National Shrine was dedicated, marking a historic moment in America’s Catholic history.

Grateful to God: The Priests of the Basilica Share What They Are Thankful for

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, the clergy of the Basilica share what they are most thankful for…

A Thanksgiving Reflection on Faith and Gratitude

With Thanksgiving approaching this month, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the significance of gratitude in the Christian faith…

Who Was the Mother of Women’s Missions?

On November 13, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the mother of women’s missions. From an early age…

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Preparing to Become the Mother of God

According to tradition, Our Lady was solemnly consecrated to God as an infant in the temple of the Lord…

Reflecting on Veterans Day and the Patron Saint of Soldiers

Because of his love of peace, St. Martin of Tours’ feast day has traditionally been used as a day to sign peace treaties…

Celebrating the Feast of Saint Elizabeth

On November 5, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Saint Elizabeth was also…

Saint Charles Borromeo: a “Light of Charity”

On November 4, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Charles of Borromeo, who is remembered for his humanitarian and reform efforts…

A Guide to November Events at the Basilica

From a special concert by the Choir of the Basilica on All Souls Day to the first-ever Mass of the Americas, November is an eventful month…

Remembering the Faithful Departed: All Saints Day and All Souls Day at the Basilica

All Saints Day and All Souls Day provide us with the opportunity to reflect on the faithful who have gone before us…

Honoring the Legacy of Saint John Paul II

On October 22, we celebrate the Feast of Saint John Paul II. Saint John Paul II was the first reigning Pope to visit the Shrine, and was beloved for…

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 Memorial 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 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 …

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…

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…

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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…