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Glossary

Basilica
-the Latin word basilica was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located at the centre of a Roman town. Eventually, the term came to refer to a large and important church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope. The term Major Basilica refers primarily to those five major churches in Rome, also referred to as Patriarchal Basilicas. They are:
  • St. John Lateran, Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West, the Pope
  • St. Peter's Basilica, assigned to the Patriarch of Constantinople
  • St. Paul's outside the walls, the Patriarch of Alexandria
  • St. Mary Major, the Patriarch of Antioch
  • St. Lawrence outside the walls, the Patriarch of Jerusalem
Minor Basilicas (the designation given to the Basilica of St. John the Baptist) are much more common.
Pallium
-a narrow woolen band worn around the shoulders, over Eucharistic vestments; conferred upon archbishops.
Ambulatory Walls
-the ambulatory refers to the passageway located behind the altar area
Campanile
-a free-standing bell tower
Statuary
-a term used to describe a collection of statues
High Altar
-large churches such as the Basilica-Cathedral usually have several altars. The term high altar refers to the main altar located in the front of the church.
Side Altar
-an altar that is not the main or high altar of a church and therefore located to the side of the main or high altar
Our Lady of Fatima
-the title given to the Virgin Mary by Catholics and others who believe that she appeared to three shepherd children near Fatima, Portugal in 1917. It is believed that three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, 110 miles north of Lisbon.
Romanesque
-a style of architecture that flourished in Western Europe between 1050 and 1200. This style derived its name from the fact that it drew much of its influence from Roman architecture.
Mistaken Point
-a geological rock formation located near Cape Race on the Avalon Peninsula on the southeastern tip of the island of Newfoundland. The site is best known as home to the oldest and most extensive collection of fossils ranging from 560 to 575 million years old.