Latin Cathedral, Lviv
The Archcathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Lviv, in western Ukraine, usually called simply the Latin Cathedral (Polish: Katedra Łacińska, Ukrainian: Латинський собор), is located in city's Old Town, in the south western corner of market square.
The first church built on this site was a small wooden Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, built in 1344 and lost in a fire six years later. In 1360 the king Casimir III of Poland founded the construction of the present day church, built in Gothic style, for a cathedral of the newly created Latin diocese. The church was consecrated in 1405 and the parish was moved here from the church of Mary of Snow. In 1412 the seat of the bishop was transferred from Halych. Construction work continued throughout the 15th century and in 1481 the Cathedral was finally consecrated.
The cathedral witnessed many significant events and was visited by several Polish kings, most notably John II Casimir, who in the Cathedral entrusted the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under the care of the Blessed Virgin in what came to known as the Lwów Oath. In 1440 the Metropolitan of Kiev, Cardinal Isidore celebrate the Holy Mass offered for the intention of Christian Unity, when he stopped in Lviv returning from the Council of Florence.
In the years 1761–1776 the Cathedral was refurbished in the Baroque style and a tall bell tower was added. In 1776 the wonder working icon of the Mother of God held in the Cathedral was crowned and placed in the main altar. In 1892–1898 the presbytery was remodeled in the Neogothic style and stained glass, designed by Józef Mehoffer and Jan Matejko were installed. In 1910 the Cathedral was granted the status of a minor basilica by Pope St. Pius X.
The Latin Cathedral is one of the just two churches in Lviv that weren't closed or subjected to the Muscovite Patriarchate during Soviet rule (the other being the Roman Catholic church of St. Anthony in Lychakiv), however during that time the bishops resided in Lubaczów, a town in southeastern Poland, close to the border with Ukraine. In 1991 Pope John Paul II reactivated the diocese.
The wonder-working icon was moved to Kraków after World War II, and then in 1974 to the procathedral in Lubaczów; in 1983 it was once again crowned in Jasna Góra and presently remains in Lubaczów. The Lviv Cathedral presently owns a copy which was crowned by Pope John Paul II during his Apostolic Visit to Ukraine on June 26, 2001.
- Churches and chapels of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine (Polish) (Ukrainian)
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