San Antonio, Texas: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower
About the Basilica:
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower was founded by the Spanish Friars who came to San Antonio by way of Torreon, Mexico in 1926. Dedicated in 1931 as a shrine to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the “Little Flower,” the Basilica began as Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Thérèse Church.
The Basilica was built during the Great Depression, following the 1925 canonization of St. Thérèse. The Basilica is still under the direction of the Discalced Carmelite friars of the Province of St. Thérèse, and it stands today as a monument to the great faith of the devotees of St. Thérèse.
The Basilica’s notable size, beauty, and spiritual significance, led to the Shrine’s placement on the National Register of Historic Places and its elevation to the status of Minor Basilica in 1998.
The Basilica has a first-class relic of the Little Flower, and makes them available for public veneration every Tuesday evening, for a short 15 minutes after the 6:00 p.m. Carmelite community mass. A reliquary is brought out for all who desire to touch and venerate the relic. The church also holds her writing desk as well as other relics and works of art.
The Basilica has been described as the most beautiful church in San Antonio. The photos here do not do it justice….you need to see it for yourself.
Be sure to go down to the crypt area and the Saint Elias Chapel. The chapel, built courtesy of a Lebanese family in San Antonio, is dedicated to silent prayer and opened for prayer and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of Corpus Christi in 2007.
As you head down the stairs to the chapel, you will see a painting of Saint Therese which was done by her own biological sister, Sister Celine Martin. This painting (shown above) was carried in procession to the Vatican on the occasion of the Canonization of Saint Therese in 1925. The painting was donated to the basilica in San Antonio because it was the first one in the United States dedicated to Saint Thérèse.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is held in St. Elias Chapel Monday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and visitors are welcome.
There are Masses daily as well as Sundays. Sunday Masses are in both English and Spanish.
The Basilica also has a gift shop offering many unique items.
Traveling to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower:
The Basilica is located just a short distance from downtown. As is true in most of San Antonio, parking is at a premium. You can park on the street…or use a public lot across from the Basilica.
Address: 1798 Zazamora, San Antonio, Texas 78201
GPS coordinates: 29° 26′ 46.6188” N, 98° 31′ 29.2296” W
Tel: +1 (210) 735-9126 Fax: +1 (210) 735-1389
Click here for the official website of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio.