Photo Art Sculpture Interior Statue of St. Therese of Lisieux
Photo provided by: 
Rich Columbo

Basilica Saints

Models of Christianity

Born out of respect for those early martyrs who gave their life for the faith and nourished by so many others who lived out the faith, sometimes very unassumingly, Christians have treasured their devotion to the Saints, known and unkown throughout the ages.

  • we venerate the saints as our heroes, great and small 
  • we pray to the saints so they may intercede for us before God
  • we learn about the saints so we may follow their example and become stronger in our faith

Mary, Mother of God

As the mother of Jesus, Mary accompanied him on his earthly journey, even unto the cross. There Jesus shared his mother with all of us so she became our mother. As a mother Mary has appeared throughout the ages to people who were in need of comfort or correction. Some of The Basilica's shrines dedicated to Mary relate to her being the Mother of God, others to her being our mother.

When the Irish and Italian immigrant founders of the Parish moved into The Basilica they brought with them Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Today, our community is much more diverse. The images of Mary are representative of her many apparitions throughout the world, often in the image of the people to whom she appeared.

Among our treasure of representations of Mary you will find:

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Photo provided by: 
Michael Jensen
Our Lady of Guadalupe
On December 9, 1531 Juan Diego had the first or four visions of a young Aztec princess who appered to him on the Tepeyac Hill outside of Mexico City. Speaking in Nahuatl, his native language she requested that a church be built in her honor on that site. Realizing he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin he went to the archbishop of Mexico City to deliver her message. The Archbishop told him to go back and ask the young woman for a sign. The first sign was the miraculous healing of Juan Diego's uncle. The second was the miraculous presence on non-native Castillian roses on the otherwise baren Tepeyac Hil in the middle of winter. The thid was the image of the young woman which appeared on the Juan Diego's mantle which he used to bring  the roses to be Archbishop. As a result, the Archbishop believed and built a church dedicated to Our Lady on the site.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of Mexico and the Americas. Her feast is celebrated on December 12.

The Mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe was created by the Vatican Mosaic Studios after the miraculous image which appeared on Juan Diego's mantle. This mantle is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

The Mosaic can be found in the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the south/west corner of the church, to your left upon entering through the main doors.

Our Lady of La'Vang

Photo Interior Statue of Our Lady of La'Vang
Photo provided by: 
Johan van Parys
Our Lady of La'Vang

Fearing the growth of Catholicism in Vietnam emperor Cahn Thinh  first restricted Catholicism in 1798. Soon this turned into persecution. Fearing for their lives many Catholics fled. A group of refugees hid in the forest of La'Vang in the Quang Tri Province. Every night they gathered to pray the rosary. According to the tradition, one night, while they were at prayer a vision of a woman dressed in traditional Vietnamese garb and holding a child appeared to them. She consoled them and told them how to use the leaves of the trees as medicine for the sick.

Our Lady of La'Vang is the Patroness of Vietnam and all Vietnamese people. Her feast day is November 22.

This marble sculpture of Our Lady of La'Vang was carved by an unknown artist in Vietnam.

You can find the shrine of Our Lady of La'Vang near the Apse in the north-west corner of The Basilica.


Our Lady of Africa

Our Lady of Africa
Photo provided by: 
Johan van Parys
Our Lady of Africa

The feast of Our Lady of Africa has its origin in the blessing of a statue of the Blessed Virgin, known as Our Lady of Africa on April 30, 1876 in the newly built church of Our Lady of Africa in Algiers.

Since then the church throughout Africa has adopted Our Lady of Africa as the Patroness of the African Continent. 

The feast of Our Lady of Africa is celebrated on April 30. On that day people pray for peace and prosperity as well as for greater faith and vitality of the church in Africa.







Our Lady of Ethiopia

Painting of Our Lady of Ethiopia
Photo provided by: 
Johan van Parys
Our Lady of Ethiopia
Our Lady of Ethiopia was painted on wood by Yilma Woldemdhine in 1990. It was acquired by The Basilica after a solo exhibit of Yilma's art in the John XXIII Gallery.

Though this version is more abstract that traditional Ethiopian paintings of Mother and Child, the composition and the treatment of the eyes is very reminiscent of Ethiopian art.









The Saints

Though most saints are celebrated throughout the world, each church has its own collection of Saints which have a special connection to the community. Though these saints maybe popular at a certain moment in the history of a specific church, they may be replaced with other saints who evolve with the community itself. The Basilica's saints are reflective both of the time the community was founded and of the community today.

Among others, The Basilica Saints include:

The Sacred Heart

Photo Interior Statue of The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Photo provided by: 
Johan van Parys
Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is rooted in the deep love God expressed in the self-giving life of Jesus. Several medieval mystics had visions where this love was symbolized by Jesus offering his heart to the mystic. Sometimes the vision included the mystic giving her heart in return to Jesus, symbolizing her love for Him.

Most influential among these visionaries was Sister Margaret Marie Alacoque (1645-1690). With the help of her spiritual director Father Croiset the devotion to the Sacred Heart became widespread.

Though the feast had been celebrated locally, in 1856 Pope Pius IX declared the Feast of the Sacred Heart to be universal. In 1899 Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Sacred Heart. Pope Pius X decreed that this consecration be held annually.

The feast is a moveable feast, celebrated on Friday, 19 days after Pentecost.

Our marble statue of the Sacred Heart was obtained from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN.

St. Anne, Mother of Mary

Statue of St. Anne
Photo provided by: 
Johan van Parys
St. Anne
Though not mentioned in the Scriptures, the parents of Mary (Joachim and Anna) were written about in early Christian writings and a devotion to them evolved quickly, especially in the East.

Our shrine dedicated to St. Anne has been an important place of pilgrimage throughout the years.

In addition to the beautiful statue of St. Anne teaching her yond daughter, Mary a relic of St. Anne is buried in the shrine’s altar.

St. Anne is the patroness of mothers and grandmothers.

The feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim is celebrated on July 26.




St. John Vianney

Photo Exterior Statue of Saint John Vianney
Photo provided by: 
Johan van Parys
Saint John Vianney
Father Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney (1786-1859), also known as the Curé of Ars is the patron saint of priests. After much struggle due to external circumstances such as the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars he was ordained a priest.
He spent the better part of his priestly ministry in the small town of Ars, counting 230 inhabitants. Word of his deep faith and especially his commitment to sacrament of reconciliation spread quickly. As a result thousands of people came to Ars to seek his advice and to go to confession. It is said that during the summer he spent 16-18 hours a day in the confessional.
St. John Vianney was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925.

The Feast of St. John Vianney is celebrated on August 4.

Our statue of St. John Vianney originally stood in the shrine which is now dedicated to Our Lady of La'Vang, next to the sacristy. Today it stands surrounded by trees and flowers in the Vocation Garden of The Basilica.