Did you know that, right here in the U.S., we have a piece of sacred art that is not just beautiful—but one of the most beautiful of its kind in the world?
Many American Catholics don’t know about this stunning, record-holding stained-glass window. It is one of eighty-two magnificent stained glass windows that adorn the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, Kentucky.
Built between 1894 and 1915, the cathedral took the inspiration for its design from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris (including the gargoyles and chimeras!). It was designated a minor basilica on December 8th, 1953, by Pope Pius XII.
The stained-glass windows were hand-made by one of the finest stained-glass firms in the world: Franz Mayer and Company from Munich, Germany. They were installed between 1908 and 1923. They are incredible pieces of unmatched craftsmanship, products of a religious art revival that prized the skill and beauty of the work of the great masters like Michelangelo.
The greatest and most famous of the windows is the North Transept Window. It stands 67 feet high and 24 feet wide—the largest stained glass window in a church anywhere in the world! The lower part depicts the Council of Ephesus, which declared the human and divine Natures of Jesus and Our Lady’s status as “Theotokos”—the Mother of God. The upper part, as though affirming the declarations of the Council, depicts Jesus crowning Our Lady Queen of heaven and earth.
The windows were restored in 2001 and shine just as brightly today as they did when they were first installed. And you can go see them anytime! Covington is situated in the northern tip of Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. It is a wonderful American pilgrimage opportunity, one of many sacred sites to be found right here in the United States.
Celebrate Our Lady’s Queenship—which we celebrate today—with a devotion dedicated to her Crown. Promoted by St. Louis de Montfort, the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a simple, beautiful devotion that honors Our Lady’s wondrous virtues, represented by her starry crown. At the Catholic Company, we created a Little Crown Chaplet of stunning sea-blue agate gemstones, complemented by white and silver accents, that recall Our Lady’s Queenship of heaven and earth. Available today at The Catholic Company!