When and who declared the Immaculate Conception the patroness of the United States of America?

2 Answers 2


  1. Archdiocese of Baltimore (1851). Concilia provincialia, Baltimori habita ab anno 1829 usque ad annum 1849. apud Joannem Murphy et socium. p. 255-256. Sanctis Congregationis Generalis de Propaganda Fide Quo Deipara Virgo, Sine Labe Originali Concepta, Septentrionalis Americae Foederatae Provincialum Patrona Instituitur
  2. "Land Of Mary Immaculate". Ewtn.com. 1996. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  3. Fanning, William (1907). "Provincial Councils of Baltimore". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 16 September 2019 – via NewAdvent.org.
  4. Benedictus PP. XV (10 April 1919). "Epistola Communes litteras, al Cardinale Giacomo Gibbons e al Cardinale Guglielmo O'Connel, di Benedetto XV, 10 aprile 1919". Vatican.va. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Archived from the original on 3 March 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  5. Tucker, Gregory W. (1 January 2000). America's church: the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. p. 22, 33-34. ISBN 9780879737009.
  • Wow, the bishops declared that prior to the Dogma then? Either the writing was on the wall or in our hearts, I guess!
    – Peter Turner
    Dec 8, 2022 at 19:10
  • @PeterTurner The Immaculate Conception was believed since early Church times. Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus §Liturgical Argument: "The Catholic Church…has ever held as divinely revealed and as contained in the deposit of heavenly revelation this doctrine concerning the original innocence of the august Virgin…she did not hesitate to present for the public devotion and veneration of the faithful the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin."
    – Geremia
    Dec 8, 2022 at 19:48

I believe that, owing the Shrine being a minor-Basilla (so declared by Pope John Paul II in 1990) and because is lies within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which is where the primate of the United States, Our Lady (of) the Immaculate Conception is the Patroness of the United States (whereas Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas in general).

Bishop Thomas J. Shahan was the bishop who wanted to get the shrine started, back in the 1910's, he went to Pope Pius X to get his approval and the pope personally donated $400 for his project back in 1913 - so perhaps that was the first/highest declaration of what would inevitably become the patronage of the USA.

-- source: Sept 23 reading in American Catholic Daily Reader by Brian Burch and Emily Stimpson Chapman.

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