Today in Catholic History – Consecration of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On 31 May 1821, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was consecrated in Baltimore, Maryland. The Basilica was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States.

The Basilica was built under the impetus of Bishop John Carroll and the architectural design of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The building was intended to model the architectural style of the US capital and be seen as something “American”.

The seven pontifical councils and three plenary councils of the United States Catholic Church would take place at the Basilica, including those which established the Catholic University of America and commissioned the Baltimore Catechism.

As author George Weigel has said, “No other Catholic edifice in America can claim to have seen so much history made inside its walls.”

The Baltimore Basilica

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