St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and Library

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Old Cathedral Complex
Old Cathedral Complex - 1.jpg
Front of the cathedral
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and Library is located in Indiana
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and Library
Location 205 Church St., Vincennes, Indiana
Coordinates 38°40′44″N 87°32′3″W / 38.67889°N 87.53417°W / 38.67889; -87.53417Coordinates: 38°40′44″N 87°32′3″W / 38.67889°N 87.53417°W / 38.67889; -87.53417
Area 2 acres (0.81 ha)
Built 1826
Architectural style Greek Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 76000025[1]
Added to NRHP August 17, 1976

The St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Vincennes, Indiana, is often referred to by locals as "The Old Cathedral". The St. Francis Xavier Cathedral was elevated to the status of Basilica (minor basilica) on 14 March, 1970.[2]

The church is located opposite George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, at 205 Church Street. It was built in 1826 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.[1]


The basilica interior

John Law wrote -- "The first entry on the church records here, is dated April 21st, 1749. There is neither title page nor introduction. The first entry is the certificate of marriage between “Julien Trattier, of Montreal, Canada, and Josette Marie, the daughter of a Frenchman and an Indian woman.” The only baptisms recorded during the year, are those of the Indian adults. One of the first deaths was Madam Trattier, aged eighteen years, whose marriage we have above recorded. She was but a short time a bride, having been buried in December, 1750, in the church, under her pew, on the “Gospel side” — so says the record. The resident priest was “Father Sebastian Louis Meurin.” All certificates except those of deaths are signed by “M. de St. Ange, Lieutenant of Marines and Commandant for the King, at Post Vincennes.” Father Meurin left in 1753. His last official act was the burial of “the wife of a Corporal in the garrison, March, 1753.” He was succeeded by “Father Louis Vivier.” His first recorded act is a marriage, May 20th, 1753. On the 24th of the same month he buried “Pierre Leonardy, Lieutenant of the garrison.” His last record is dated August 28th, 1756. The number of baptisms and marriages is small, but increasing. Half of them are of “Red or Indian Slaves,” belonging to the Commandant and to the inhabitants. It was a number of years after the departure of the Jesuits, who had officiated as priests until about the year 1760, that another priest visited Vincennes. During the interregnum, one “Philibert,” Notary Public, administered baptism as a layman, privately, and duly recorded the names of those to whom he administered the rite, on the register."[3]

The Church was formally dedicated on August 8, 1841[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ Day, Richard. "History of the Old Cathedral". Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  3. ^ John Law, "The Colonial History of Vincennes", under the French, British, and American Governments, from its First Settlement Down to the Territorial Administration of General William Henry Harrison, Being an Address Delivered by Judge John Law, Before the Vincennes Historical and Antiquarian Society, February 22d, 1839, with Additional Notes and Illustrations . Vincennes: Harvey, Mason and Co., 1858
  4. ^ [1] Indiana Catholic History Website

External links[edit]

Media related to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral (Vincennes, Indiana) at Wikimedia Commons