Big news for the Archdiocese of St. Paul!

UPDATE: By now you have seen the news

Vatican Designates Cathedral of Saint Paul as National Shrine

The Vatican has designated the Cathedral of Saint Paul to be the first national shrine in honor of the Apostle Paul. This special distinction was granted by the Office of the Holy See [That would probably be the CDW.] and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, following a request by The Most Rev. John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

This will be the first national shrine in the State of Minnesota and the only national shrine in North America dedicated to honor Saint Paul.

According to canon (church) law, “The term shrine signifies a church or other sacred place to which the faithful make pilgrimages for a particular pious reason with the approval of the local ordinary (bishop).”

Those wishing to participate more fully in the life of the National Shrine can become members of the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Paul.

Tens of thousands of people, particularly tourists, already visit the Cathedral of Saint Paul every year. Bus loads of children also come to learnabout the role of the Mother Church of the Archdiocese. The number of visitors is expected to increase significantly as a result of this designation as a national shrine dedicated to Saint Paul.

Over the decades, the Cathedral developed as a catechism in stone and glass by evangelizing through its grandeur and beauty. The patron Saint Paul is particularly honored through a series of bronze grills that depict major events in his life, from his conversion to his martyrdom. The Shrine of the Nations, which features patron saints of ethnic groups from Europe who settled the area, serves as a reminder that the work of the Apostle to the Gentiles continues through every age.

I think the Cathedral of St. Paul may be one of the most spectacular church buildings in North America. 

I am delighted that this Cathedral gains this honor as a fruit of the Pauline Year, which soon draws to a close.  Too bad it couldn’t have been organized before the Pauline Year began, so that more people might have benefited.

I am interested to know if there will be special concessions for the Cathedral now that it is a National Shrine.

Tomorrow there should be a big news on the website of the Cathedral of St. Paul in the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Be sure to check it out during the course of the day.



It might not be posted until tomorrow afternoon.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. JoyfulMom7 says:

    Now, really, Father! how are we supposed to sleep tonight?!

  2. joyful: You aren’t! You are supposed to sit up hitting that refresh key.

  3. TomB says:

    Just how big is this news? C’mon, just one more hint!

  4. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    Any whispers in the corridors of the Vatican regarding a red hat for His Excellency the Archbishop?

  5. RichR says:

    I was a groomsman in a wedding in that Cathedral. It truly was the most magnificent building I’ve ever been in on American soil.

    The pipe organ was also a piece of work – it helped that a maestro played for the wedding, too.

  6. Ann says:

    I am delighted that a wonderful building has gotten such a designation! Marvelous! I wish I were able to visit it before the year is out!

  7. Tim Ferguson says:

    It’s interesting – c. 1231 gives the competence for designating national shrines to the national bishops conference, and the competence for designating international shrines to the Holy See (which competence is exercised through the Congregation for the Clergy, as per Pastor bonus, Art. 97). Perhaps now the USCCB requires the assent of the Holy See to designate a national shrine.

  8. jesuitschooled says:

    Oh sure, 5 days after I visit it! HAHAHA

  9. Joe M. says:

    I think this is great, considering I live by there.

  10. J. Basil Damukaitis says:

    Why not make it a minor basilica while they’re at it?

  11. michigancatholic says:

    Frankly, the USCCB should be required to ask permission of the Vatican for just about everything. As a group, they’ve been untrustworthy for years.

  12. Nan says:

    J. Basil, The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, Americas First Basilica, which was also designed by Emmanuel Masqueray, the Cathedral architect, is designated as co-Cathedral. They’re about 10 miles apart.

  13. Matt Q says:

    Hopefully the Masses there befit such a maganificent church.

    Here in Los Angeles, we Mission San Juan Capistrano. It was elevated to Minor Basilica about five, seven years ago. :-)

  14. Sarah says:

    Yay for the Cathedral!

  15. Mark says:

    One has to wonder whether the Vatican even maintains the sliver of a pretense any more of acting according to the principle of subsidiarity.

    Was the CDW really the lowest authority necessary to make such a distinction? More Vatican micro-meddling.

    If the diocese wanted this, the bishop could have declared this. If the US as a whole wanted it, a synod of bishops (or in the modern day, shudder, the USCCB) could have declared this.

    Why are so many conservative Catholics who are against Big Government when it comes to the State, so enthusiastic about a hyper-centralized bureaucracy when it comes to the Church??

    It has only been the model for much less than a millennium, and is certainly not the only correct or possible model.

    I’m glad for the new Shrine, but hearing about the instrument of creation in such situations always frustrates me. Why was the approval of some old man in Rome needed to designate something a national shrine on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean??? It baffles the mind!

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