The Basilica of Saint Mary
June 23, 2017
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The Basilica of Saint Mary
We are located on Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Phone: 612.333.1381
A map, email contact, parking information and mailing address is also available.
Weekly Musings Blog
Our pastor and staff directors share their thoughts, insights and inspirations.
Recent Publications
· Weekly Newsletter
  January 16, 2014
· Parish Bulletin
  December 27, 2013
· BASILICA Magazine
  December 6, 2013
Today's Reading
Thursday of week 11 in Ordinary Time, or...

Feast of Saints

The saints are the great models for all Christians. Through their heroic or sometimes unassuming lives, they show all Christians the different paths to salvation. On their feast days, we are inspired by their lives and commit ourselves to follow their example.
There are different categories of saints: apostles are the first disciples of Jesus; martyrs have died for their faith; doctors of the Church have greatly contributed to the development of the Church theology; and religious founders have established religious communities.
The Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints studies each case brought forward with the request for beatification. This Congregation studies the documents put together by the committee that promotes the beatification of a certain person. The major moment in the process of becoming a saint is when the person is beautified, or recognized as Blessed. For example, Pope John XXIII has been beatified. The next major step is canonization, which proclaims the deceased a saint. To be declared a saint, one miracle needs to be attributed to the intercession of the person in question. A canonization requires three miracles.

Once declared blessed or a saint, it is decided whether the person will be honored with greater or lesser solemnity, relative to their importance in the life of the Church and the local community. The four levels are:

  • solemnity
  • feast
  • obligatory memorial
  • optional memorial

Solemnities are the highest level of celebration. Such saints as Saint Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter, St. Paul and Saint John the Baptist are celebrated with a solemnity. Most of the other apostles and some other saints are honored with a feast. However, most saints are celebrated with a "memorial" to their lives and accomplishments. Some of these memorials are obligatory, meaning that every church is to celebrate the Saint. If the memorial is optional, then it is up to the priest to decide whether he will celebrate the Mass dedicated to the saint.

It is good to remember that the Church does not pray to a saint as one would pray to God. Rather, one asks a saint to intercede on one’s behalf to God. So the veneration of the saints has a dual purpose: one is to provide examples of saintly lives that inspire the faithful; two, is to request that a specific saint will plead directly with God.

© Saint Bartholomew statue »
Saint Bartholomew (symbols are knife/skin), one of the statues of the Apostles that are set on the entablatures surrounding the sanctuary. Theses six-foot statues are half-size duplicates of the statues of the Twelve in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome. – Photo by Michael Jensen. [Close]
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