On the morning of February 7, 1904, Baltimore’s Great Fire demolished more than 1,500 buildings, leaving 35,000 people without work.
Thomas O’Neill was not one of them.
As the fire raged, the self-made multimillionaire and devout Catholic ran to a nearby Carmelite Convent and asked the sisters to pray with him that his building be spared. The fire stopped at the southern wall of his building.
In thanksgiving for the blessing, Thomas left two-thirds of his vast estate for the building of a new cathedral for Baltimore, and the result is the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. This architectural wonder is a symphony of stone and glass that sings the praises of Jesus and his Mother, the Virgin Mary. It is one of the most stunning and distinctive cathedrals in the country, and one that any visitor to Baltimore should make a point of visiting.
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