The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly known as Saint Francis Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and it is also the mother church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The cathedral was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, La Parroquia (built in 1714–1717). In contrast to the surrounding adobe buildings, the Saint Francis Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style. It has the characteristic round arches, Corinthian columns, and truncated square towers. The large rose window in from and those of the Twelve Apostles were imported from Clermont-Ferrand in France.
The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on October 4, 2005, when it was named the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.
In 1967 a statue of St. Francis, the patron saint of the diocese, was installed during other renovations. There is also a sculpture of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first North American Indian to be beatified. She was canonized in October 2012. She was an Algonquian-Mohawk woman from New York who converted to Christianity at an early age. Her statue was created by Estella Loretta, a sculptor from the nearby Jemez Pueblo and installed in August 2003.
Jean Baptiste Lamy, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Fe in 1850, is honored by a statue by Jeno Juszko. The Bishop is buried in a crypt beneath the Cathedral floor. Additionally, there are fourteen life-size sculptures by Gib Singleton that represent the stages leading up to Jesus' crucifixion.
Cover image "The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi" by Greg Gjerdingen is licensed under CC BY 2.0.