Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower

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See also the National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Therese Church
Basicilica Minor SA5.jpg
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower is located in Texas
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower
Location 906 Kentucky, San Antonio, Texas
Coordinates 29°26′45″N 98°31′30″W / 29.44583°N 98.52500°W / 29.44583; -98.52500Coordinates: 29°26′45″N 98°31′30″W / 29.44583°N 98.52500°W / 29.44583; -98.52500
Area 2.4 acres (0.97 ha)
Built 1931
Architect Monnot, Charles L. Jr.; Dennehy Construction Co.
Architectural style Beaux Arts
NRHP Reference # 98000843[1]
Added to NRHP July 09, 1998

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower also called Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Thérèse Church is a historic Roman Catholic church, located in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The church is distinguished as one of seventy-three in the United States (and one of only four in the state of Texas) bearing the papal designation of "minor basilica." [2] Despite its religious importance it is not the cathedral of the local diocese; that distinction belongs to San Fernando Cathedral.


Dedicated to Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux of the Child Jesus, and bearing her nickname, "The Little Flower" of Jesus, the cornerstone of her basilica "was solemnly blessed and laid" on October 15, 1929.[3] Its remarkable edifice and accompanying works of religious art are uniquely uncharacteristic of its relatively recent construction.

The Basilica is a treasury of art, master craftsmanship and relics. The Discalced Carmelite Friars began serving the surrounding parish community in San Antonio in the late 1920s. The Basilica was thus constructed during the Great Depression (1929–1931) and today stands as a monument to the great faith of devotees of St. Thérèse from throughout the United States and world.

Perhaps the most treasured work of art at the basilica is a painting of Ste. Thérèse created by the saint's own natural blood sister, Céline (Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face). This very painting was used in the canonization ceremony for Ste. Thérèse in Rome in 1927. It is 7 ft (2.1 m) wide by 10 ft (3.0 m) tall, and is located in the baptistery in the vestibule of the church. This painting was part of the procession at the saint's canonization.

Restoration and significance[edit]

Currently the Basilica is undergoing a multimillion-dollar restoration campaign to restore this spiritual and historic landmark to its original splendor and glory.

Now that the National Shrine of the Little Flower has been joined to the ranks of a minor basilica, the church's ecclesiastical throne has become, symbolically, a papal throne. The throne is original to the Basilica and has been used by various visiting prelates for over 70 years. Most recently it has been used by the Archbishop and auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of San Antonio during special liturgies, such as feast day Masses and ordinations at the Basilica.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Basilicas in the United States". Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  3. ^ Basilica History Archived January 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]