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Throwback Thursday – 1963: Consecration of Knights Tower Bells


The Knights Tower at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., rose 262 feet when it was completed in 1959. In 1962 the K of C made an additional gift to the Shrine – a carillon set of bells. It took a year for the 56 bells, providing a two octave range, to be cast and arrive from France and Holland for their consecration.

Archbishop Patrick O'Boyle and Bishop Philip Hannan are shown standing between the Mary and Christopher bells during the carillon consecration. Thousands of spectators were present for the event.

Today the 7,200 pound Mary bell strikes on the hour. It is inscribed: Mary is my name. / Mary is my sound. / Beloved Mother / Queen of Heaven and Earth / Queen of this dear land / for knights to God and country bound / and all who hear my voice / I sing the praises of God.

This photo forms part of the visual documentation: Consecration of Knights Tower bells at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 14 July 1963. Photographer’s credit: Reni Photos. Not to be reproduced without permission of the Knights of Columbus. All rights reserved. Please contact the Knights of Columbus to request information about permission to reuse this image and ones like it, and to learn more about the visual and text documentation of Knights’ history.