CV NEWS FEED // Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church in Roanoke, Virginia, was dedicated as a minor basilica on Sunday.
The Vatican singles out a Catholic Church as a basilica for its architecture, art, and beauty.
Pope Francis elevated Saint Andrew’s to a “minor basilica” in October, but St. Andrews was officially dedicated this on December 3. This is Virginia’s third minor basilica.
Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond blessed the church at the Sunday mass, reading the Vatican decree and blessing physical symbols within the church to signify its elevation.
“As a bishop, it’s really always a special joy to visit the parishes of the Diocese,” Knestout told local news station WDBJ7. “And in any special occasion… where we have the elevation of a church, with the title of Basilica, I think it’s important that the bishop be here to recognize that.”
There are three symbols representing a minor basilica: the Ombrellino (umbrella), the Tintinnabulum (little bells), and the Papal cross keys.
“There are elements that are… added to the architectural details of the space,” Knestout noted.
St. Andrew’s was founded in 1882. The current church, a yellow-brick, Victorian Gothic style building, was dedicated in 1902, and its interior and exterior were recently renovated.