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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. Can you tell me, what is a Basilica?

A. 1. The word "Basilica" originates from the Greek term that means "royal house." In the Catholic Church, it is a Church building that has been given a special privilege by the pope.

There are two types of Basilicas, Major and Minor or Lesser.

The four Major Basilicas are found in Rome. They are St. John Lateran, St. Peter, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. Mary Major.

The 1,600 Minor or Lesser Basilicas are found in Rome and throughout the world. These Basilicas are traditionally named because of their antiquity, dignity, historical value, architectural and artistic worth, and/or significance as centers of worship.

According to the 1989 Vatican document "Domus ecclesiae", a basilica must “stand out as a center of active and pastoral liturgy.”

Because its designation as a basilica indicates a special bond of communion with the pope, the parish is required to celebrate “with particular care” the feast of the Chair of Peter on Feb. 22, the solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29, and the anniversary of the pope’s election or his inauguration into his pastoral ministry.

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