The Basilica of Saint Josaphat is a Minor Basilica created by Pope Pius XI in 1929 (the third church so honored in the USA). It fulfilled the necessary characteristics required by the Church to be so designated. Namely: it is a place of pilgrimage and special devotion, it is a center of historic significance for the Faith, and it is architecturally and artistically qualified for such an honor.
Dating back to ancient times, a basilica was typically like an indoor shopping mall—not a religious building at all! Basilica architecture was the style of the building. When Christianity became the religion of the Roman empire, our ancestors took over these amazing buildings. They became centers of the faith to which pilgrims flocked. Today four Major Basilicas (all in Rome) are special centers of Catholic devotional life: St. Peter's, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls, and St. John Lateran. Numerous Minor Basilicas have been created throughout the world.