Completed in 1914, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is an iconic Catholic Cathedral that draws in millions of tourists every single year. As the location of the iconic 1999 Papal visit from Pope John Paul II, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis was designed a Basilica by the Pope 20-years ago.
History of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
George D Barnett of Barnett, Haynes, and Barnett of Saint Louis designed the entire structure of the Cathedral, including a circular Sacristy on the north end, which was not built when the main structure was completed in 1914. That semi-circular Sacristy, which was eventually built, was designed and constructed by George John Magualo of Magualo and Quick. Barnett went on to design the Altar, the baldachino, and the Lower Sanctuary mosaics.
Other architects part of the incredible feat includes George John Magualo, Joseph Murphy, Verner Burks, Jr., Chevalier Aristide Leonori, and Robert Frei. Mary Reardon oversaw the last architectural updates to the structure in 1987 and 1988.
1999 Papal Visit
In 1999, the Cathedral played host to Pope John Paul II. Thousands traveled to see in the Pope in person and experience his word under the architecture of the famous Cathedral. Persons at the time quoted to papers, “They noticed a warmth in his eyes at each personal encounter in all the places where these occurred.”
Prior to his visit, on April 4, 1997, Pope John Paul II honored the Cathedral of Saint Louis by making it a Basilica, a place of worship of special distinction. As a Basilica, the Cathedral now displays two special symbols: the tintinnabulum, or a bell, and the ombrellinio, or an umbrella.
Following the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ Safe Environment Program, the Cathedral Basilica oversees support programs for youth, the elderly, and vulnerable adults of the parish as they participate in activities within the community. As stated on the website, “This process also provides a layer of protection against the possibility of false accusations for those adults who are involved in our many ministries.”
The Cathedral is a functioning, accessible Catholic church today. Mass times can be attended Monday thru Friday at 7 AM, 8 AM, or 12:05 PM. AN evening mass is added to most holy days. Visitors can attend Mass at 8 AM or 5 PM on Saturdays and 8 AM, 10 AM, 12 PM, or 5 PM on Sundays. Other prayer events, like the Evening Prayer, take place Saturday at 4:30 PM n the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Perpetual Help Devotions take place every Tuesday immediately following the 8 AM and 12:05 PM Masses. Stations of the Cross is available every Friday at 7 PM during the season of Lent.
Eucharist Adoration times and Sacrament of Reconciliation has a varying schedule that can be observed on the website.
Cathedral Gift Shop
As a famous Cathedral Basilica in the U.S. today, the Cathedral Basilica’s Gift Shop is located on the west side of the vestibule. It is open from 10 AM until 4 PM seven days per week, excluding New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
The Cathedral also plays host to concerts, musical events, and afterschool programs.
Location (click for map): 4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108