On Monday of our Odyssey Excursion we toured both the Basilica of St. Mary and the Cathedral of St. Paul. Starting at the Basilica, we were guided by a very kind tour guide who was a plethora of knowledge about the Basilica, from when it was originally built to even some mistakes that the architect and stain glass window maker had made! She walked us around the outside of the basilica, showed us the importance of the Basilica's insignia, and explained the role that the Basilica has in the Global Church.
She walked us through the story of Mary painted on the stain glass windows, she showed us the organ, the choir loft, and the designated side chapels and side altars. These altars were devoted to the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph, and St. Therese. The architect that designed both the Basilica and the Cathedral under the guidance of Archbishop John Ireland was very French and his taste and saintly devotions were evident. The architect, Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, kept all his blueprints so that when the Basilica was being renovated, they were able to return the designs to their original intent.
After our tour, we took an hour to pray in the sanctuary. Either with a Scriptural Rosary or their prayer journals, we all took some time meditating on Christ's Mother and the beauty she holds.
After lunch, we headed to St. Paul to the Cathedral. Knowing what we knew about the Basilica informed our understanding of the Cathedral since they shared an architect.