2 - Entrance & Narthex
The main entrance of the basilica requires one to pass through heavy oak doors into a transitional vestibule leading to the narthex. The narthex, with a bright marble floor and walls made of Crab Orchard stone, spans almost the full width of the nave.
To the left is the hand-wrought gate of bronze, beyond which is the Baptistry. To the right, the doors open to a side corridor that exits to the Porte Cochere.
Straight ahead, the fourth wall is another example of art work in bronze. Large panels of glass, set within the framework of satin bronze, form wide picture windows and doors through which the interior of the church is viewed.
Over the center of the doorway, done in bronze, is the coat of arms of Pope Pius XII, the Pontiff when the basilica was planned and constructed.
Before entering the basilica, on the back wall above the marble topped desk of bronze, is the coat of arms of Pope John XXIII, the Pope who bestowed the regal honor of Basilica upon our church.