This chapel was newly fabricated in 1969 to accommodate the liturgical changes called for by the Second Vatican Council. The mosaic behind the tabernacle, designed by Jan Henryk de Rosen, depicts the Gospel scene at Emmaus in which the two disciples recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. The tabernacle is done in bronze, inlaid with red and white enamel and semi-precious stones. On its doors are the tetramorphs of the four evangelists. The purpose of the tabernacle is to retain the consecrated hosts reserved principally for the sick and dying. On the west wall of the chapel are the coats of arms of the Archbishops of Washington.
Our Lady's Chapel
The mosaics depicting the the genealogy of Mary were designed by Thomas LaFarge. The right mosaic depicts the prophets of the Incarnation (Micah and Isaiah) along with the tree of Jesse and King David, topped by Mary and the child Jesus. The left mosaic depicts St. Joachim and St. Anne, Mary’s parents, with a fountain below, from which springs a rod at the top of which is St. Anne presenting her child, Mary, to the world.
On the chapel ceiling are several Latin titles honoring Mary. Included in the chapel are two other major images, a replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta, sculpted by Felix W. de Weldon, and a statue of Mother Teresa and a homeless man, sculpted by the Russian artist, Leonid Bodnia.
This chapel to the right of the sanctuary depicts the betrothal ceremony of Mary and Joseph. The various forms of art are the works of Vincenzo Demetz (Ortesi, Italy), Rafael Guastavino (Barcelona, Spain) and Robert Robbins of New York. The sculptural group is based upon a work by the Renaissance artist, Raphael. It represents the many possible suitors for the hand of Mary. When they are refused betrothal, they break their staffs as depicted. Joseph holds a staff of lilies indicating that he has been chosen as the betrothed of Mary. Above the group is God the Father with angels, emphasizing his providence upon the betrothal and marriage of Mary and Joseph.
Holy Angels’ Chapel
This chapel to the upper right of the Wedding Chapel is dedicated to the four archangels (Raphael, Gabriel, Michael and Uriel) and includes an altar dedicated to St. John the Baptist and an altar dedicated to Christ who is Lord of all. It was designed by the Robert Robbins Studio of New York.
Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua
The mosaics surrounding the statue were designed by Angelo Gherardi and crafted by the Italian studio of Daprato. Other scenes in the surrounding mural are of towns and saints associated with St. Anthony (St. Francis, St. Clare and St. Bonaventure). Carved in the white marble are the words from the “Canticle of the Sun” by St. Francis. The mural above the chapel entrance was painted by Vincent Aderente and shows St. Anthony perfoming a cure.
In an entrance corner to the chapel is a bust of Pope John Paul II by Gordon Kray commemorating the pope's visit to the Cathedral in 1979.
Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi
This simple chapel contains murals by Thomas LaFarge depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis. On the north wall is the espousal of St. Francis to Lady Poverty, the consecration of his life to the virtue of poverty. Over the altar are St. Francis and St. Clare with the crucified Christ. Over the entrance is St. Francis receiving the Stigmata, the impression of Christ's wounds. Along the entrance wall to the chapel is the burial crypt containing the remains of Cardinals Patrick O’Boyle and James Hickey, past Archbishops of Washington.