Basilica of Mary Queen of Apostles

The origins date back to February 13, 1901 when Catholic missionaries (the Pallotines) set foot on the soil of Mfoundi for the first time. Among them were Father Heinrich Vieter, Brother Jean Jager and several others from Germany.

Arriving in Yaoundé, they begin the work of evangelization with the construction of many buildings. Welcomed by Chief Essomba Mebe who gave him land on Mvolyé hill, Father Vieter decided to set up the first Catholic mission in Yaoundé there. On January 22, 1905, Monsignor Vieter became the first bishop of Cameroon and the mission of Mvolyé became the seat of the Apostolic Vicariate of Cameroon. Monsignor Vieter died on November 7, 1914. He was buried in the cemetery of Mvolyé.

The years 1923 to 1927 saw the construction of the cathedral of Mvolyé dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Threatening to fall into ruins, it will be destroyed at the beginning of 1990 on the instructions of Monsignor Jean Zoa, first Cameroonian bishop of Yaoundé, to build a Marian sanctuary there. The first stone was laid on August 15, 1990. It became the Basilica of Marie-Reine-des-Apôtres on December 10, 2006 in the presence of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, legate of Pope Benedict XVI.

Built on twelve columns representing the twelve apostles, the basilica is 32 meters high and 75 meters wide. It has a capacity of nearly 4,000 seats. Its construction is made of a subtle mixture of stone, metal and wood (bubinga and moabi) thanks to the collaboration of the know-how of the different ethnic groups of Cameroon. It houses outdoor paintings representing the sacraments produced with the collaboration of the Nina de Mbalmayo center. The stained glass windows in pastel and luminous colors are a 100 m2 fresco by the glass painter Henri Guérin. The Black Virgin (3.50 m high) is carved in the wood of the sacred tree of Nkong Ondoa and the altar carved in the shape of a token from the game of abbia (in) in the granite at Akok Bekoé. Christ and the tabernacle are made in bronze with Bamoun techniques.

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