National Shrine of Saint John Neumann

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National Shrine of Saint John Neumann
St. Peter the Apostle Church
Shrine of St. John Neumann.jpg
Basic information
Location 1019 North Fifth Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
Affiliation Roman Catholic Church
Leadership Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer
Website www.stjohnneumann.org
Architectural description
Architectural style Romanesque Revival
Specifications
Materials Stone

The National Shrine of St. John Neumann is a Roman Catholic National shrine dedicated to St. John Neumann, who was the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia and the first American male to be canonized. The shrine is located in the lower church of St. Peter the Apostle Church at 1019 North 5th Street, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The main church was built in 1843.

Adjoining the lower church is a small museum, which displays exhibits relating to the life of the saint. The National Shrine of St. John Neumann and St. Peter's Church are under the care of the Redemptorists, the religious community of which St. John Neumann was a member.

History[edit]

When St. John Neumann died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1860, he was buried as he requested at St. Peter's Church beneath the undercroft floor directly below the high altar.

Neumann was beatified by Pope Paul VI during the Second Vatican Council, and he was canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Paul VI in 1977. The undercroft at St. Peter the Apostle Church underwent repeated renovations after Neumann's initial interment. The space served for years as the lower church of St. Peter the Apostle parish and eventually became the National Shrine of Saint John Neumann after his canonization. The body of St. John Neumann lies in a glass-enclosed reliquary under the main altar. The body of the saint is dressed in the episcopal vestments with a mask covering the saint's face.

The body of St. John Neumann has undergone multiple vestment changes since it was first put on display at the time of his beatification. In 1989, during the course of a major renovation of the shrine, the body of the saint was clothed in a set of modern vestments cut in the Gothic style. On December 27, 2007, the body of St. John Neumann was given a new mask and vested with a set of high quality traditional Roman vestments, including a laced alb, stole, maniple, episcopal gloves, and traditional Roman fiddleback chasuble. The Cardinal Archbishop of Philadelphia, Justin Francis Rigali, was present to assist with the vesting.

Fire[edit]

On May 13, 2009, a fire broke out in the lower church. The podium, which sat inches away from the body, was reduced to dust. However, the body of St. John Neumann was left intact. The wax covering on his face did not show any signs of heat. The pastor, Fr. Kevin Moley, C.Ss.R. called it a miracle.[1]

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Coordinates: 39°58′09″N 75°08′42″W / 39.969203°N 75.14505°W / 39.969203; -75.14505