RELIGION

Pope Francis Designates America's Newest Basilica, Michigan's National Shrine Of The Little Flower

395471 01: Thousands of small white crosses surround the National Shrine of the Little Flower Church October 7, 2001 in Royal
395471 01: Thousands of small white crosses surround the National Shrine of the Little Flower Church October 7, 2001 in Royal Oak, Michigan. The crosses represent the 2,000 abortions that are performed each day in the United States. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has bestowed the title of "basilica" upon the historic National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Royal Oak, making it only the second church in Michigan and one of 82 in the U.S. to carry the honorary designation.

The honor means the landmark Oakland County church, its facade marked by a mammoth sandstone tower and crucifix at Woodward and 12 Mile, will get a reconfigured name and have greater significance as a Catholic pilgrimage site. The designation also connotes a heightened relationship with the pope, so the parish will celebrate anniversaries related to the role of the papacy.

The Rev. Ryan Adams announced the designation at the start of 4:30 p.m. mass Saturday at the church, which counts 3,400 families as parishioners and is one of the largest parishes in the six-county Archdiocese of Detroit. Those in the pews greeted the news with applause.

Read more on Detroit Free Press

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