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Biloxi Mississippi Walking Tour
Item 6 of 14
The Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a historic Catholic church built in 1902. Often referred to as Nativity BVM, it is the parent church of the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi. Designed by architect Theodore Brune, the cathedral is also a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. It features a large bell and clock tower, Gothic arches, 61 stained glass windows, a large rose window, and buttresses. It is included in the Biloxi Multiple Resource Area, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sky, Plant, Window, Building

Catholicism has been present in Mississippi since the 17th century but it took over a hundred years for churches to be established along the Gulf Coast. The Catholic Diocese of Jackson, which encompasses most of Mississippi, wasn't founded until 1837. It was only in 1977 that the Diocese of Biloxi, which covers the southern part of the state, was established.

The first church at this location was a small building erected in 1843. It is not clear what it was called, but it was used until 1869 when a hurricane damaged it so severely that another church was built in 1870. This second church was larger but it was lost in a fire that destroyed much of the downtown area in 1900. Nativity BVM was constructed two years later. The architect, Theodore Brune, was born in Germany and lived in New Orleans. He designed many buildings in Biloxi during this period. Over the coming decades, the cathedral has been repaired after hurricanes.

"About Our Parish." Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://www.nativitybvmcathedral.org/about-us.

"Cathedral of the Nativity (B.V.M.)" The Historical Marker Database. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=22980.

"Diocesan History." Catholic Diocese of Jackson. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://jacksondiocese.org/about/diocesan-history/#history1.

P'Pool, Ken. "Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral." State of Mississippi Historic Sites Survey. April 20, 1983. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/ee8867cc-7e72-4f61-8f11-cdeeec7b737b.

"History." Catholic Diocese of Biloxi. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://www.biloxidiocese.org/history.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nativity_BVM_Cathedral.jpg