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The Cult of the Virgin Mary 
in New York City

By Paul Halsall




The cult (which means "pattern of devotional practices" rather than anything more sinister) of the Virgin Mary was an important aspect of medieval religious piety. From the 6th century in Byzantium and rather later in the West, the cult of Mary expanded into a vast artistic, devotional, and imaginative aspect of Christian piety.

In Northern Europe the Protestant Reformation largely killed the cult of Mary. It is noticeable, for instance, that although Protestant churches are still commonly dedicated to saints, I could only find one in New York dedicated to Mary. Most Protestant dedications are to Saint John (which one is not usually specified, but probably the gospel writer is meant) , St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, St. Paul, or St. Stephen. All these are New Testament figures and so the Biblicism of Protestantism is appropriately emphasized. What is missing is the feminine aspect of the Divine. This is precisely what Mary brings to Catholic, Orthodox and some Anglican piety.

But Protestantism, apart from African American churches, is a minor aspect of New York City's religious life. Catholicism dominates Christian life by the sheer number of Catholics. Orthodoxy is much less prominent, but plays an important role in Queens. Anglican churches are also scattered throughout the city, for the most part affected by Anglo-Catholicism. The result is that Mary has more sanctuaries dedicated to her than any other devotional figure, including Christ.

As well as her position as the leading patroness of ecclesiastical property, the Virgin remains the focus of strong cults. These range from the slightly antiquarian medievalism of the cult of Our Lady of Walsingham at St. Mary the Virgin (W 46th St.), to the dramatic scenes which still surround the festivals of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 116th St. (whose Italian clients now mix with her Hispanic devotees), to the simple devotion at Our Lady of Guadaloupe on West 14th St., (whose Shrine in Mexico City represents the survival of native Indian culture through centuries of oppression), to the millenialist fantasies connected with the ongoing apparitions (since the early 1970s) of the Virgin at the former Vatican Pavilion of the 1964 World's Fair.

Mary's appeal transcends many boundaries. The aggressive anti-Communist Mary of some on the Catholic right, is the same Mary whose hymns are among the most fervently sung at the services of the gay Catholic group Dignity. [Indeed when the group split in 1989, the break off group toyed with the idea of becoming "Dignity/Queen of Heaven" chapter. Sadly it settled on "Dignity/Big Apple"]

In short, in the face of intellectuals' disdain, Protestant dismissal, and Vatican II's Eucharistic Catholicism, Mary retains her place in the affections of the faithful of many churches, owns more property than any other, and represents the very deep currents of medieval religious experience. Los Angeles may be named after her [its full name is "The City of Mary Queen of the Angels"], but in New York also Mary can claim her title of "Queen".

Contents 




I: Churches Dedicated to Mary 

The vast majority of churches dedicated to the Virgin are listed here, although a few may have escaped directory listing. Churches have been counted if dedicated to Mary by name, under the title "Our Lady", or to one of her feast days.

In all the Virgin Mary has at least 92 active sanctuaries in the city, as well as lady chapels in virtually every Roman Catholic and many Anglican churches.

Roman Catholic [76 Marian dedications]

Manhattan 
  1. Immaculate Conception, 414 E. 14th St., (212) 254 0200
  2. Church of Notre Dame, 404 W 114 St., (212) 866 1500
  3. Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 448 E 116th St., (534 0681)
  4. Our Lady of Loreto 303 Elizabeth, New York, NY (212) 431-9840
  5. Our Lady of Good Counsel 230 E 90th St New York, NY (212) 289-1742
  6. Our Lady of Lourdes Church 472 W 142nd St New York, NY (212) 862-4380
  7. Our Lady of Peace 237 E 62nd St New York, NY (212) 838-3189
  8. Our Lady of Pompeii Church 25 Carmine St New York, NY (212) 989-6805
  9. Our Lady of Sorrows 213 Stanton St New York, NY (212) 673-0900
  10. Our Lady of The Scapular Church 142 E 29th St New York, NY (212) 532-2232
  11. Our Lady of Victory Church 60 William St New York, NY (212) 422-5535
  12. Our Lady of Perpetual Help 323 E 61st St New York, NY (212) 838-1324
  13. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs 91 Arden St New York, NY
  14. St Mary's Church 440 Grand St New York, NY (212) 674-3266
  15. St Mary's Byzantine Rite 246 E 15th St New York, NY (212) 677-0516
  16. Spanish Church of La Guadalupe, 229 W 14th St., (212) 243 5317
Bronx 
  1. Immaculate Conception, 754 E Gun Hill Rd, (718) 653 2200
  2. Immaculate Conception, 389 E 151 St., (718) 292 6870
  3. Our Lady of Angels 2860 Webb Ave Bronx, NY (718) 548-3005
  4. Our Lady of Good Counsel 4221 Park Ave Bronx, NY (718) 294-6981
  5. Our Lady of Grace 3985 Bronxwood Ave Bronx, NY (718) 652-4817
  6. Our Lady of Mercy 2496 Marion Ave Bronx, NY (718) 933-4400
  7. Our Lady of Pity, 276 E 151 (718) 665 3880
  8. Our Lady of Refuge, 290 E 196 (718) 367 4690
  9. Our Lady of Solace 731 Morris Park Ave Bronx, NY (718) 863-3282
  10. Our Lady of The Assumption 1634 Manhattan Ave Bronx, NY (718) 824-5454
  11. Our Lady of Victory 1512 Webster Ave Bronx, NY (718) 583-4044
  12. Our Lady of Mt Carmel, 627 E 187th, Bronx, (718) 295 3770
  13. St Mary Star of the Sea 595 Minnieford Ave Bronx, NY (718) 885-1440
  14. St. Mary Protectoress, Ukrainian Catholic, 1745 Washington Ave, (718) 731 9392
Queens 
  1. Immaculate Conception, 21-47 29th St., LIC, (718) 728 1613
  2. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 101-41 91 St., Ozone Park, (718) 845 3691
  3. Our Lady of Cenacle, 136-06 87 Ave Jamaica ,(718) 291-2540
  4. Our Lady of Fatima, 25-02 80th St. Jackson Heights, (718) 899 2801
  5. Our Lady of Grace, 100-05 159 Ave, Howard Beach, (718) 843 6218
  6. Our Lady of Lourdes, 92-96 220 St., Queens Village, (718) 479 5111
  7. Our Lady of Mercy, 70-01 Kesel, Forest Hills, (718) 268 6143
  8. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 111-20 115 St Ozone Park, (718) 843 9443
  9. Our Lady of the Angelus, 63-63 98th St., Rego Park, (718) 897 4444
  10. Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, 34-24 203 St. Bayside, (718) 229 5929
  11. Our Lady of The Miraculous Medal, 62-81 60 Pl, Ridgewood, (718) 366 3360
  12. Our Lady of The Skies, JFK Airport, (718) 656 5348
  13. Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs, 110-06 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, (718) 268 6251
  14. Queen of Angels, 41-12 44th St., LIC, (718) 937 5174
  15. Queen of Peace, 141-36 77 Ave, Flushing, (718) 380 5031
  16. St. Mary, Gate of Heaven, 103-12 101 St. Ozone Park, (718) 847 5957
  17. St. Mary's, 10-08 49 Ave. LIC (718) 786 0705
  18. St. Mary Star of the Sea, 19-20 New Haven Ave, Far Rockaway, (718) 327 1133
  19. St. Mary Ukrainian Catholic, 97-06 87th St., Ozone Park, (718) 845 5366
Brooklyn 
  1. Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2805 Ft Hamilton Pkwy, (718) 871 1310
  2. Mary Queen of Heaven, 1395, E 56th St., (718) 763 2330
  3. Our Lady of Charity 1669 Dean St Brooklyn, NY (718) 774-5100
  4. Our Lady of Good Counsel 915 Putnam Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 443-7211
  5. Our Lady of Guadalupe 7201 15th Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 236-8300
  6. Our Lady Help of Christians 1315 E 28th St Brooklyn, NY (718) 338-5242
  7. Our Lady of Monserrate-St. Ambrose, 134 Vernon Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 388-5196
  8. Our Lady of Angels 7320 4th Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 836-7200
  9. Our Lady of Czestochowa 183 25th St Brooklyn, NY (718) 768-5724
  10. Our Lady of Grace 430 Avenue Brooklyn, NY (718) 375-2081
  11. Our Lady of Lebanon 113 Remsen St Brooklyn, NY (718) 624-7228
  12. Our Lady of Loreto 124 Sackman St Brooklyn, NY (718) 385-3740
  13. Our Lady of Lourdes 11 De Sales Pl Brooklyn, NY (718) 452-2260
  14. Our Lady of Mercy Chapel 680 Mother Gaston Blvd Brooklyn, NY (718) 346-3166
  15. Our Lady of Miracles 757 E 86th St Brooklyn, NY (718) 257-2400
  16. Our Lady of Mount Carmel 275 N 8th St Brooklyn, NY (718) 384-0223
  17. Our Lady of Peace 522 Carol Brooklyn, NY (718) 624-5122
  18. Our Lady of Perpetual Help 5721 6th Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 439-9795
  19. Our Lady of Presentation 1661 Saint Marks Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 345-2604
  20. Our Lady of Solace 2866 W 17th St Brooklyn, NY (718) 266-1612
  21. Our Lady of The Rosary Pompei 225 Seigel St Brooklyn, NY (718) 497-0614
  22. Our Lady of Victory Church 583 Throop Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 574-5772
  23. Our Lady Perpetual Help 526 59th St Brooklyn, NY (718) 492-9200
  24. Queen of All Saints, 300 Vanderbilt Ave (718) 638 7625
  25. Regina Pacis Shrine, 1230 55th St., (718) 236 4595
  26. St Mary Mother of Jesus 8401 23rd Ave Brooklyn, NY (718) 372-7942
  27. St. Mary, Star of the Sea, 467 Court St., (718) 625 2270

Orthodox [7 Marian dedications]

Manhattan 
  1. Protection of the Holy Virgin Cathedral, 59 E 2nd St., (212) 677 4664 [OCA]
  2. St Mary's Amer Orth Greek Cath 121 E 7th St New York, NY (212) 674-1066
Bronx 
  1. St Mary Zion Ethiopian Orth 140 W 176th St Bronx, NY (718) 294-1385
  2. St Marys Orth Chrch India Inc 360 Bedford Park Blvd Bronx, NY (718) 584-1900
Queens 
  1. St. Mary and St., Antonios Coptic Church, 606 Woodward Blvd, Ridgewood, (718) 386 4111
Brooklyn 
  1. St. Mary's Orthodox Church, 8100 Ridge Blvd, (718) 238 8088
  2. Kimesis Theotokou [Dormition of the Virgin] , 224 18ths St. (718) 788 0152 [Greek Orthodox]
Anglican [5 Marian dedications]

Manhattan 
  1. St Mary The Virgin Church 145 W 46th St New York, NY (212) 869-5830
  2. St Mary's Episcopal Church 521 W 126th St New York, NY (212) 864-4013
Bronx 
  1. St. Mary's 620 E 226th St., (718) 547 8000 [RC?]
Queens 
  1. Annunciation, 71-05 Cooper Ave., Ridgewood, (718) 386 9121
Brooklyn 
  1. St. Mary's, 230 Clasn Ave (718) 622 3262

Other Denominations [4 Marian dedications]

Manhattan 
  1. Oecumenical Parish Our Lady 400 Fort Washington Ave New York, NY
Queens 
  1. St. Mary's Nativity Church, 46-02 Parsons Blvd, Flushing (718) 359 5996)
Brooklyn 
  1. Our Lady of Czenstochowna, 183 Manhattan, (718) 768 7557 [RC?]
  2. St. Mary's Church of Christ, 493 Munro, (718) 575 4100



II: Devotional Cults of the Virgin
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel [picture]

  • Medieval New York page on this cult. 
  • Our Lady of the Roses, Bayside [picture]

  • Site of the organization promoting this apparition cult.
  • These Last Days Ministries 

  • Another site promoting the Bayside cult. This site is extremely millenialist.
  • Latin American Titles of the Virgin Mary [many pictures at site]

  • Although not specific to New York, this site does explain clearly one of the major founts of the Virgin's power in New York - the devotion of Latin American immigrants. All the major Latin American titles are explained and illustrated.
  • Medieval Virgins -Our Lady of Walsingham [picture]

  • There is a cult statute of this Medieval Apparitionial Devotion at the church of St. Mary the Virgin. The modern arising of this cult is told in the The Story of Our Lady of Walsingham. The annual pilgrimage to this Shrine in England is one of the campest religious events in existence.
  • Our Lady of New York

  • A statue at the Anglican Church of St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue
Other Marian Web Sites