Prague has a new basilica. The Pope awarded an honorary title to the Church of St. Ludmila on Náměstí Míru — ČT24 — Czech Television
“I can confirm that the Church of St. Ludmila was elevated to a minor basilica yesterday (Tuesday) by the decision of Pope Francis. The ceremonial promulgation, i.e. the announcement, will probably take place on the feast of St. Ludmila on September 16,” said Stanislav Zeman, spokesman for the Prague Archbishopric.
The Church of St. Ludmila on Náměstí Miru is one of the landmarks of Prague’s Vinohrady. It is built of open-faced bricks in the North German Brick Gothic style. Its creator was the architect Josef Mocker, author of the plans for the building of St. Vitus and co-author of the reconstruction of Karlštejn. The three-nave space is complemented by a transept, which creates a cross-shaped plan, and the presbytery is connected to it.
Ludmila’s remains are in St. George’s Basilica
after all, the church on Náměstí Míru is one of the largest temples in the world dedicated to important Czech saints, it is not its main place of pilgrimage. The remains of St. Ludmila rest in the Basilica of St. George in Prague Castle, and the annual pilgrimage takes place at the Tetín hillfort, which became the place of her martyrdom.
Basilica minor is a special honorary title awarded by the Pope since the 18th century mostly to important places of pilgrimage. The granting of the title has the necessary ties of individual churches with the Roman Pope and highlight their importance for the surrounding area. There are almost two thousand of these smaller basilicas. The higher title is the basilica maior. This is reserved for the six highest-ranking Catholic churches. They are, for example, the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome or the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
The Church of Saint Ludmila will become the fifth basilica in Prague and the sixteenth in the Czech Republic. The first Czech church with this title was the pilgrimage site Svatá Hora near Příbram, which was granted it by Pope Pius X in 1905. The last Prague church to be elevated to the status of a basilica was the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Vyšehrad in 2003. The last in the Czech Republic is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint Nicholas in Žďár nad Sázavou, which elevated Pope Benedict XVI to the rank of basilica in 2009.