Photo provided by: 
Michael Jensen

Mary and the Saints

Great Examples 

Whether they suffered a heroic death for the faith or simply testified to the faith through a quiet life inspired by the Gospel, the women and men we call saints are great examples for us all. Their heroic or sometimes unassuming lives show us the different paths to salvation.

  • We learn about the Saints so they may inspire us on our Christian Journey.
  • We pray to the Saints so they may intercede for us before God.
  • We venerate the Saints because through them we venerate Christ who is the source of life and holiness.

Solemnities and Feasts of Mary

Mary, the Mother of Jesus accompanied him throughout his life, to the very end. Standing under the cross Jesus presented his mother to all of us. Throughout the ages, Mary has shown herself to be a caring mother appearing to those in need of support, encouragement or correction. Throughout the liturgical year we celebrate Mary as the Mother of God and as our Mother.

Among the many celebrations of Mary, here are but a few:

  • Solemnity of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) celebrates the dogma that Mary was conceived without original sin. This is not only the feast day of the United States but also the patronal feast of The Basilica.
  • Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12) celebrates her appearance to Blessed Juan Diego in 1531 and ongoing miracles. On the Sunday closest to December 12 we celebrate La Guadalupana with a solemn Eucharist and Fiesta.
  • Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1) celebrates that Mary was the mother of God because Jesus, while fully human, was divine.
  • Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) remembers when the Angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive from the Holy Spirit and bear a son.
  • Feast of the Visitation (May 31) commemorates Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth (Mother to John the Baptist) who had conceived as well.
  • Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) celebrates the dogma that at the end of her life Mary was taken to heaven, body and soul. On this day in 1915 The Basilica of Saint Mary was solemnly dedicated.
  • Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8) celebrates the birth of Mary to Anna and Joachim.

Solemnities and Feasts of Saints

During the course of the liturgical year different saints are celebrated in the liturgy. Though there are saints who are celebrated throughout the universal church, The Basilica, like each individual church has its own specific saints. We invite you to visit the Basilica Saints to learn more about the many shrines we have in The Basilica and throughout our entire campus.

All Saints and All Souls

Though many Saints have their own feast day, on November first we celebrate all the saints, both known and unknown. The next day, we celebrate All Souls Day which is the day we pray for all our beloved dead.

On the Sunday closest to All Saints Day:

  • We hold our annual Procession with Icons of the Saints and place them in the Sanctuary for the rest of the month.
  • We invite parishioners to place photos of deceased loved on the altars in the different Basilica shrines. Some of the altars are turned into Altars for the Dead during the month on November.
  • We celebrate Evening Prayer for All Saints and All Souls with a litany that includes the names of those who have died during the past year.