Old St. Mary's

Old St. Mary's (HM5SM)

Location: Philadelphia, PA 19106 Philadelphia County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 56.747', W 75° 8.899'

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Old St. Mary's church was the most important Catholic church during the American Revolution and the early years of the nation. Built in 1763, when St. Joseph's became too small to accommodate the Catholic population of the city, the church was enlarged in 1810 when it became the first cathedral of the new diocese of Pennsylvania.
During the Revolution the Continental Congress attended services at St. Mary's on four occasions to solemnize observances during the war. George Washington and John Adams worshiped here in 1774; Washington returned to St. Mary's when he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention.
St. Mary's was established by the Jesuits of St. Joseph's church in Willings Alley. Father Robert Harding, an English Jesuit, was the founding pastor, and was assisted by Father Ferdinand Farmer (actually Steinmeyer) who came to Philadelphia to minister to the German Catholic population of the city. From 1763 until 1821 St. Mary's and St. Joseph's were one parish. In addition to Jesuit fathers, the parish was served by Dominicans, Augustinians and Franciscans as well as diocesan priests.
In 1810, at the direction of the first bishop of Philadelphia, Michael Egan, O.S.F., St. Mary's church was enlarged to its present size. The entrance to the church was through the cemetery from Fifth Street until 1886 when the church was "turned around" so that entrance was from Fourth Street.
The cemetery has been a Catholic burial ground since 1759. Interred there are such notables as merchant George Gordon Meade, General Stephen Moylan, Commodore John Barry, Congressman Thomas Fitzsimons, diplomat Manuel Torres, publisher Mathew Carey, artists John Neagle, and Michael Bouvier, great-great-grandfather of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
HM NumberHM5SM
Placed ByOld Philadelphia Congregations
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 11:08am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 487329 N 4421750
Decimal Degrees39.94578333, -75.14831667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 56.747', W 75° 8.899'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 56' 44.82" N, 75° 8' 53.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)267, 484, 215, 610
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 252 S 4th St, Philadelphia PA 19106, US
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