Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Basilica of St. John the Baptist

I am very excited about this blog posting, because it is number 50! I would like to thank everyone who has read this blog and is a regular visitor to this site. I appreciate your feedback and comments about this site, and I encourage you to send in your topic suggestions. Thanks. Now on to the article!

The Basilica of St. John the Baptist is located in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. This is where I am from and write my blog. This basilica, which is now considered a cathedral, has a very special place in the ecclesiastical history of Newfoundland, as well as Canada, and even North America.

The Basilica was completed in the year 1855 after 16 years of construction. Amazingly, at the time of its building, it was the largest church in size in all of North America, including all of Canada, the US, and Mexico. It was built under the direction of Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, who came from Ireland in the 1800s. Bishop Fleming was integral to shaping Newfoundland culture in those years, and was even responsible for developing the old Newfoundland Flag, which today is used by those seeking an independent Newfoundland. The flag is divided into thirds: pink, white and green. The pink represents Protestants (English pink), the green represents Catholics (from Ireland mostly), and the white in between represents peace between the two. This flag is still in use today, although not officially, as the flag representing those who want an Independent Newfoundland.

The Basilica is the current seat of the Bishop of Newfoundland, Brendan O'Brien, and is the most beautiful structure in Newfoundland. Because of its importance in Newfoundland spirituality and worship, the Basilica of St. John the Baptist holds a special place in the hearts of everyone here.

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