The Baltimore Basilica opened in 1821 and is the first and oldest Catholic Church in the United States. It is considered the Mother of Catholicism in America. In addition to being a church, the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a minor Bascilica and Marian Shrine. While visiting the church you can also visit the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden as well as the museum that houses hundreds of artifacts and antiques that go as far back as the 17th century including vestments of Cardinal Gibbons, letters between numerous presidents and archbiships, altar vessels and other artifacts.
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