Nashville January 23, 2019
The Oldest Church In Nashville Dates Back To The 1800s And You Need To See It
Finding the oldest church in Nashville is quite the feat, especially in light of the fact that Music City is known as the, “Buckle on the Bible Belt.” Thoroughly religious and entrenched in the heart of southern history and hospitality, if you’re looking to experience the pinnacle of the city’s history you’ll want to visit St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, a true gem tucked away in the heart of downtown.
Hiding in towering downtown Nashville is one of the oldest buildings in the state, and you wouldn't even know it. That building is St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, and it has a fascinating history.
The interior of the church is absolutely beautiful. It was completed in 1847 and even served as the city's cathedral until 1914 when the Cathedral of the Incarnation was built at its current location on West End.
Being the oldest church in the city, St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows has seen a lot of history. It was briefly a military hospital during the Civil War, though it was the last church in the city that was converted to that use.
The church's first bishop was originally buried under the altar at the front of the church, but his body was moved during renovations in 1972. When his body was moved, it was discovered that his body had not decomposed, indicating to the church leaders that he might in fact be a saint. The church has ever since petitioned the Vatican for recognition of Bishop Miles' sainthood, but his body has been reinterred in a side chapel at the church.
Bishop Miles himself seems to make his appeal from time to time. The church's bells have long been stricken by the occasional occurrence in which they fail to ring on the hour. No explanation has ever been found, but it's suspected that it is Bishop Miles making his presence known.
St Mary still holds regular services which you can visit whenever you like. If you would like to visit the church outside of mass, they have office hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday with access at the entrance on Charlotte Ave.
Whether you're a local or you're visiting Nashville for the first time, the beauty and history of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows is certainly worth the time. Visit today at 330 5th Ave N.
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