Old St. Mary’s Church
Was the second Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia. It was built in 1763 as a Sunday Church to be used by the parishioners of Old St. Joseph Church. It eventually became a parish in its own right. The church was prominent in the life of Colonial and Revolutionary Philadelphia.
Old St. Mary’s Church was the site of the first public religious commemoration of the Declaration of Independence.
Old St. Mary Church became the first Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia in 1810. It remained as such until 1838.
Many prominent figures of Colonial Philadelphia and the Revolution frequented this historic church.
Members of the Continental Congress attended services here on four occasions from 1777 to 1781. George Washington, in an ecumenical spirit, worshipped here on at least two occasions. Puritan John Adams came here too and wrote to his wife Abigail,
“the music, consisting of an organ and a choir of singers, went all the afternoon except sermon time, and the assembly chanted most sweetly and exquisitely. Here is everything that can lay hold of eye, ear, and imagination, everywhere which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant, I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.” – US Library of Congress