St Peter Cathedral Marquette and the tomb of Bishop Frederic Baraga

St Peter Cathedral, 311 W Baraga Ave, Marquette, Michigan, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 906-226-6548

Every day: from 7.00 am to 8.00 pm

St Peter Cathedral Marquette

St Peter Cathedral Marquette a Roman Catholic parish of the Latin Rite, dedicated by Bishop Baraga in 1866.

Houses the tomb of Bishop Baraga, and the home of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for more than 15 years.

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages in North America.

See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world

The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Parishioners commit to spend at least one hour per week in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This devotion has been a beautiful source of parish renewal as well as a way of strengthening individual spirituality. Regular and substitute adorers are always welcome any hour of the day or night.

History of St Peter Cathedral Marquette

The first Mass in Marquette was celebrated by Father Menet, S. J., in a log cabin located on what is presently Spring Street. Thereafter, on occasion, the city was visited by the Jesuits stationed at Sault Ste. Marie.

On October 12, 1853, Bishop Frederic Baraga visited the city, confirmed 30 persons, and selected the site for the construction of a new church. This site is where the present Cathedral stands, on the corner of Baraga Avenue and Fourth Street.

While walking the hilly Marquette streets on a sunny day, it’s impossible, even from a distance, not to pause and think about St. Peter Cathedral; your eye will automatically be drawn to the cathedral’s twin steeple domes.  Capped in a pattern of red, blue, and orange, and topped by twin gold-leaf crosses, the domes catch and reflect the sun.  Between the towers, the peaked roof of the church is edged with copper and is topped by a steel cross.

While the upper portion of the steeples is formed from brownstone, the base of the steeples, like the rest of the exterior walls, is made of native Marquette sandstone.  These sandstone walls, which have stood since the 1881 construction, are typical of Romanesque architecture.  Because of its large windows, the cathedral seems a collage of Romanesque and Gothic styles.

The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Parishioners commit to spend at least one hour per week in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This devotion has been a beautiful source of parish renewal as well as a way of strengthening individual spirituality. Regular and substitute adorers are always welcome any hour of the day or night.

Previously named the Bishop’s Chapel, it was retitled The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament after the 1981 renovation, as the Holy Eucharist is continually reposed in its sanctuary.  This is a place of reverence and worship, as the Sacred Body of Christ is continually exposed, and, therefore, perpetually adored.

  • Weekdays 8:00 am and 5:15 pm. 12:10 Mass during Lent
  • Saturdays 8:00 am, 4:00 pm. First Saturday – 10:00 am
  • Sunday – 8:00 am, 10:30 am, 6:00 pm
  • 1:00 pm First Sunday of Month- Latin Extraordinary Form, 1962 Missal

Bishop Frederic Baraga 1st Bishop of Marquette 1853-1868

Bishop Baraga was interred “Under the Cathedral close to the Blessed Virgin altar a brick vault had been constructed and there the plain pine coffin with its precious contents was deposited.” (Rezek, I, p. 204). Although an identifying inscription was in place there was no provision for visitors.

In 1875 the casket was opened to retrieve the valuable items it contained: staff, ring and a cross to help a poor diocese. The hands were “perfectly preserved, full, hard to the touch, only unnaturally white in consequence of a fine mould having settled on it. After a short exposure to the air this substance turned a little dark,” (Fr. Edward Jacker, Dec. 29, 1875).

After the fire of 1879 the casket was opened again. “This time also the body was in a perfect state of preservation.” Again, prior to reburial “Baraga’s remains were exhumed in September 1897. Although the dry-decay had done its work, the body was still complete notwithstanding the moisture of the sand that had eaten up the boards of the coffin.” (Rezek, History of the Diocese).

A new crypt with six niches was built in the south-west corner. At that time the body of Bishop Baraga was lifted into a steel casket. “As I remember the original tomb … The walls were of stone construction. There were places for six or eight bodies with a tomb size marble slab to cover the side opening. The inscription on the outside, for each bishop. Bishop Baraga’s body was in the lower tier in the southeast comer of the crypt.” (Msgr. Martin Melican, September 17, 1957).

Fire again destroyed St. Peter’s during the early morning hours of November 3, 1935. In the spring of 1936 the bodies of the bishops were moved to the concrete passageway between the Cathedral Rectory and the Cathedral. The body of Bishop Baraga was placed near the Cathedral wall. The tunnel opening was sealed during the reconstruction of the Cathedral. Msgr. Melican suggested that the space under the bishop’s chapel be excavated and the crypt be built there and a distinct place of honor, separated from the other tombs, be reserved for the body of Bishop Baraga.

When Baraga’s casket was opened, he was clearly recognizable. Long, thick black hair covered his head. His face was brown like a nut and heavily wrinkled. He wore a green vestment. Because the Cathedral had only one violet vestment and it was needed. Also they forgot to put his mitre on after the casket was sealed, so they put it on top the casket. Msgr. Rezek mentioned this years before and so this proved true. I would say Baraga’s features were in excellent condition considering the intervening years. Certainly he was immediately recognizable.” (Msgr. Francis Scheringer, July 17, 1957).

History of St. Peter Cathedral of Marquette

The first Mass in Marquette was celebrated by Father Menet, S. J., in a log cabin located on what is presently Spring Street. Thereafter, on occasion, the city was visited by the Jesuits stationed at Sault Ste. Marie.

On October 12, 1853, Bishop Frederic Baraga visited the city, confirmed 30 persons, and selected the site for the construction of a new church. This site is where the present Cathedral stands, on the corner of Baraga Avenue and Fourth Street.
While walking the hilly Marquette streets on a sunny day, it’s impossible, even from a distance, not to pause and think about St. Peter Cathedral; your eye will automatically be drawn to the cathedral’s twin steeple domes.  Capped in a pattern of red, blue, and orange, and topped by twin gold-leaf crosses, the domes catch and reflect the sun.  Between the towers, the peaked roof of the church is edged with copper and is topped by a steel cross.

While the upper portion of the steeples is formed from brownstone, the base of the steeples, like the rest of the exterior walls, is made of native Marquette sandstone.  These sandstone walls, which have stood since the 1881 construction, are typical of Romanesque architecture.  Because of its large windows, the cathedral seems a collage of Romanesque and Gothic styles.

When the Cathedral was refurbished in 1947, the mural behind and above the altar was created.  The latest renovation was completed in 1981 at a cost of $300,000 to accommodate the liturgical changes implemented by the Vatican II Council.  This renovation was instituted by Bishop Mark Schmitt, the tenth Bishop of the Diocese, and overseen by the Rector of the Cathedral, Father Louis Cappo.

Visitors to the cathedral are first greeted by the two statues and the carvings above the three oak entrance doors on Baraga Avenue.  They are most easily appreciated if you stand at the base of the steps to view them.  The statues are of two apostles, St. Peter, on the left, and St. Paul, on the right.  The diocesan coat of arms, with angels on each side, is beneath these statues.  Just above the doors: the anchor on the left represents hope, the cross and the crown in the center remind us of faith, and the heart to the right testifies to love.

On the corner of the building to the left of the doors, the original cornerstone, dated 1881, shows the coat of arms of Bishop Baraga (1797-1868).

Posted in North America and United States