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Know a Parish: The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVIon October 4, 2005, when it was named the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Know a Parish: The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

Historic parish dedicated to the Patron of Environment: The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly known as Saint Francis Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. With 1500 registered families as members this is a historic parish dedicated to the memory of the Patron of Environment.

The cathedral was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, La Parroquia (built in 1714–1717). An older church on the same site, built in 1626, was destroyed in the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. The new cathedral was built around La Parroquia, which was dismantled once the new construction was complete. Influenced by the French-born Archbishop Lamy and in dramatic contrast to the surrounding adobe structures, Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style.

The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVIon October 4, 2005, when it was named the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. Says Msgr. Jerome, 58: “New Mexico mission architecture is the only indigenous church architecture in the United States.” This in itself is a tribute to the patron of environment. Although Jean-Baptiste Lamy is immortalized in Willa Cather’s 1927 classic, Death Comes for the Archbishop, the landmark cathedral remains his greatest legacy.

(Image Courtesy: jgrehders.com)

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