Address: 1530 Logan Street, Denver, CO 80203


The 210-foot-high French-Gothic style Cathedral was dedicated on October 27, 1912 and designated as a Minor Basilica on December 25, 1979 by St. Pope John Paul II. The majestic twin-spired building made of Indiana limestone and Gunnison (Colorado) granite was the vision of Bishop Joseph P. Machebeuf who came to Denver from New Mexico in 1860 with instructions to build a church – resulting in the small St. Mary’s Church downtown. The Bishop died in 1889 before his successor, Bishop Nicholas C. Matz, and the first rector of the Cathedral, Reverend Hugh L. McMenamin (“Father Mac”), raised sufficient funds to construct the current Cathedral. The architectural masterpiece along East Colfax Avenue stands only a few blocks from another architectural, and political, milestone, the Colorado State Capitol complex.

The Cathedral was constructed and designed to be a landmark worthy of housing the cathedra of the Archdiocese of Denver; and the $500,000 cost included 75 stained glass windows created by F.X. Zettler’s Royal Bavarian Institute of Munich; Carrera marble imported from Italy for the main altar, side altars and baptismal font; and Colorado yule marble for other areas including the entrance vestibule.

Thousands of visitors visit the Cathedral Basilica annually which is open every day and holds daily and weekend Masses. The site is also host for weekly Sunday Masses streamed for viewers around the world – see more at the Archdiocese of Denver YouTube site

Special things to see in the Cathedral
• The 75 stained glass windows designed by F.X. Zettler’s Royal Bavarian Institute of Munich reportedly contain the most square footage of leaded stained glass of any church in the U.S. The West Transept window shows Pope Pius IX defining the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, 1854. The East Transept window depicts the Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus, held in 431, which proclaimed Mary as “Theotokos” (“Mother of God”). The windows also illustrate the Mysteries of Rosary and scenes from the Life of Jesus. The rose window visible in the choir loft is of St. Cecilia, Patroness of Musicians.

• The main altar includes Carrera marble from Italy with a spectacular central statue of Mary inspired by Bartolome Esteban Murillo’s famous painting of “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (1645-1655).

• Near the side altars of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary are small statues of the Infant Jesus of Prague and St. Martin de Porres hidden from direct view and are worthy of notice.

• The Tomb of Servant of God Julia Greeley is near the side altar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to which she had a great devotion. Julia was born into slavery in the mid-1800’s and was emancipated in 1865 and became a paid servant who, after her daily job, served the poor and needy. She became known as “Denver’s Angel of Charity” and her cause for canonization was opened in 2016.

Interesting Fact About the Cathedral
• On the right side of the main altar is a red and yellow silk umbrella, officially called an “umbraculum” – it is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church and the authority of the Pope. It was given to this Cathedral upon the Pope’s designation of the Cathedral as a Minor Basilica on December 25, 1979. The ubraculum is only opened when the Pope is present – a small bell hangs from the ubraculum and is also rung when the Pope is in the Cathedral Basilica. The only time the umbraculum has been opened was on St. Pope John Paul II’s visit on August 13-14, 1993. Other signs that the Cathedral is a Basilica include the stained glass window in the vestibule showing the Papal Coat of Arms, and the Papal insignia on the middle entrance doors.