Vat­i­can des­ig­nates north­ern Vir­ginia church as a basil­ica

South Florida Times - - PRAYERFUL LIVING -

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP)— The Vat­i­can has des­ig­nated a his­tor ic Catholic church in north­ern Vir­ginia as a basil­ica.

Ar­ling­ton Bishop Michael Bur­bidge an­nounced the des­ig­na­tion dur­ing ser­vices Sun­day at St. Mary Catholic Church in Old Town Alexandria, which traces its his­tory back to Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton.

The church was founded in 1795 and is the first Catholic parish in Vir­ginia. Wash­ing­ton made the first fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion to the parish.

It is the 84th basil­ica in the U.S. and the sec­ond in Vir­ginia, join­ing the Basil­ica of St. Mary of the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion in Nor­folk.

Churches re­ceive des­ig­na­tion as a basil­ica for ar­chi­tec­tural beauty, his­tor ical sig­nif­i­cance, or renown as a place of pub­lic wor­ship.

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