The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Roman Catholic Church in Southampton, which is one of many churches in the Town, has just received a very big honor from the Pope at the Vatican.
Pope Benedict XVI has bestowed upon the Southampton church the prestigious designation of basilica. After the Roman Empire became officially Christian, the term basilica, by extension, came to refer specifically to a large and important church that has been given special ceremonial rites by the Pope. The name will be displayed from now on the Church in Southampton, which is an absolutely, stunningly beautiful Church, and was built from marble stones that originally were used to build the New York Public Library.
Sacred Hearts is now the only Church in Nassau and Suffolk county that has been given the distinction of basilica directly by the pope, and joins just 70 other churches in the United States that have the honor. Think about that for a second. Out of all the churches in the United States, just 70 churches are called basilicas and one of them is now in Southampton.
It’s a good day for Sacred Hearts.
So the real question is, does this mean that there is a chance Pope Benedict XVI will be coming out to the Hamptons for a little rest and relaxation and for maybe a little beach time? I could see that happening. Can you imagine the Pope showing up in the Hamptons and participating in the blessing of the fleet in Montauk or giving a press conference outside one of the many churches in the Hamptons? What an amazing thought.
Congrats to Sacred Hearts, that’s a big honor. Merry Christmas!