Monday, August 04, 2014

Word of the Day -- Basilica

The Latin word basilica (derived from Greek βασιλικὴ στοά, Royal Stoa, the tribunal chamber of a king), has three distinct applications in modern English. The word was originally used to describe an open, Roman, public court building, usually located adjacent to the forum of a Roman town. By extension it was applied to Christian buildings of the same form and continues to be used in an architectural sense to describe those buildings with a central nave and aisles. Later, the term came to refer specifically to a large and important church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

Catholic Basilicas are Catholic pilgrimage sites, receiving tens of millions of visitors per year. In December 2009 the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe set a new record with 6.1 million pilgrims during Friday and Saturday for the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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