St. Mary’s Minor Basilica

My first visit to St. Mary’s Minor Basilica was back in Lottabusha County Chronicles I days. You can read more about St. Mary Minor Basilica in Natchez there.  These photos are from a brief view down the street, captured as the sun was setting low and shadows covered much of downtown Natchez.

St Mary 1

St Mary 2

BELL FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.  A magnificent bell for St. Mary’s Cathedral, in this city, has been presented by Prince Torlonia, of Rome, to the Rt. Reverend Bishop Chance, for the use of that beautiful ornament to our city.  That, together with the splendid altar-piece, the gift of the eminent Pope Pius IX, may be looked for within a short period of time.  The gifts are worthy [sic] their distinguished donors. (Natchez Daily Courier, Apr. 24, 1849. p. 2)

THE BELL FOR ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL IN NATCHEZ.  We have great pleasure in announcing that the splendid bell, presented by the munificent Prince Torloni [sic] of Rome to the Cathedral in Natchez, has safely arrived in New Orleans on board the ship Sir Howard Douglass, consigned to J. B. Byrne & Co.  The bell was shipped from Italy to Liverpool, and from Liverpool to New Orleans.  It is doubtless, the finest bell in the United States. (Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette, Apr. 27, 1850, p. 2)

FATHER MATHEW [sic].  This apostle of temperance is to leave New Orleans on Friday next, and is expected to be in this city on Sunday.  The new bell of St. Mary’s cathedral, will hail his arrival.

THE BELL OF ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL.  This gift of the generous Prince Torlovi [sic], arrived on the steamer Natchez No. 3, on Monday morning, and will be elevated to its place in the tower of the cathedral by Sunday next. (The Mississippi Free Trader, May 15, 1850, p. 2)

Bell of St Mary

Mississippi Free Trader and Natchez Gazette, Sun. 1, 1850, p. 2

St Mary 3

We were pleased to notice that the work of finishing the interior of the Cathedral according to the original plan, has made some progress, and we hail this as an omen that the time hastens when nothing shall be wanting to complete so pure and imposing a pile as the Cathedral was designed to be by its founders.  (The Mississippi Free Trader, Sep. 12, 1849, p. 2) . Note: pile also means “a large imposing building or group of buildings: a Victorian Gothic pile.”


This entry was posted in churches, Gothic Revival, Historic Downtowns, Mississippi and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to St. Mary’s Minor Basilica

  1. Beth says:

    On a summer day in 2008 I ventured into this church and was totally unprepared for the magnificance of the interior. I was so awed that I couldn’t make myself venture any farther than the last pew! How interesting to read about its construction and the bell. I think the term “perpendicular gothic style” is an interesting term and will send me researching it soon :). Always fun to find out more of the story of a place I’ve visited – thanks!


  2. Sheryl says:

    The church is beautiful. It’s fascinating that bells are given names.


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