Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica (officially: The Basilica Of Our Lady Of Sorrows) is a Roman Catholic basilica on the west side of Chicago, Illinois. Located at 3121 West Jackson Boulevard, it is, along with St. Hyacinth and Queen of All Saints, one of only three churches in Illinois designated by the Pope with the title of basilica.


Founded in 1874, it has been administered by the Servite fathers for its entire history. Ground was broken for the current building on June 17, 1890 and the church was dedicated on January 5, 1902. The Parish served an Irish and Italian congregation for many years. The sorrowful mother novena was a major devotion at the parish during the first half of the 20th century, drawing worshippers from across the country and reaching many more listeners by radio. The church also houses the National Shrine of St. Peregrine, the patron of those suffering from cancer. In the 1960s and 1970s the parish became predominantly African-American.


The church was designed in an Italian Renaissance architectural style by Henry Engelbert, John F. Pope, and William J. Brinkmann. It features a barrel-vaulted ceiling that wraps around a high altar made entirely of Carrara marble. It was declared a basilica by the Vatican in 1956.

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in architecture books

Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica is featured in a number of books on Chicago architecture, most notably "The AIA Guide to Chicago" by Alice Sinkevitch (Harvest Books 2004). Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica is also in a number of books devoted to church architecture, among them "Chicago Churches: A Photographic Essay" by Elizabeth Johnson (Uppercase Books Inc, 1999), "Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago" by Denis R. McNamara (Liturgy Training Publications 2005), "The Archdiocese of Chicago: A Journey of Faith" by Edward R. Kantowicz (Booklink 2007), "Chicago Churches and Synagogues: An Architectural Pilgrimage" by George A. Lane (Loyola Press 1982), as well as "The Spiritual Traveler: Chicago and Illinois: A Guide to Sacred Sites and Peaceful Places" by Marylin Chiat (HiddenSpring 2004).


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