St. Michael Catholic Parish traces its foundation to Don Tristán DeLuna’s landing on August 14, 1559. Accompanied by five priests of the Dominican Order and one lay brother, the first Catholic Mass in what is the United States was celebrated at the landing site of August 15, 1559, the feast of the Assumption of Mary. After a lapse of years, the Catholic Church’s presence was officially established on May 10, 1781 by Fr. Cyril de Barcelona, the chaplain to the Galvez armada. From the first church in an old warehouse on Pensacola’s waterfront, St. Michael has been a continuous Catholic presence. Three additional St. Michael churches were built along today’s Jefferson Street over the next 100 years. The last of those churches was destroyed by fire in September 1882. This current site had been purchased in May 1882, and church construction completed in March 1886 and dedicated on June 6, 1886. Pope Benedict XVI elevated St. Michael Church to the status of a Minor Basilica on December 28, 2011 thus honoring the architectural and historic significance of both church and parish in the history of northwest Florida. The Basilica of St. Michael stands as a witness to the honor and glory of God in the Heart of Pensacola.