Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará

Pilgrimage Sites in the United States

Pilgrimages evoke our earthly journey toward heaven and are traditionally very special occasions for renewal in prayer. For pilgrims seeking living water, shrines are special places for living the forms of Christian prayer "in Church" (CCC 2691).

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - Washington, DC: Dedicated to the patroness of the United States, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic Church in the country and among the ten largest churches in the world. Welcoming over one million pilgrims each year, this Shrine's more than 70 chapels and oratories offer beautiful places for reflection and meditation in which each pilgrim can grown closer to Jesus through Mary, His Mother.

Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - Emmitsburg, MD: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was a convert from the Episcopalian Church, wife and mother, and foundress of the American Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland. She is the first American-born saint.

Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, Bensalem, PA: St. Katharine Drexel (1858-1955), a native of Philadelphia, founded the Religious Order of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament dedicated to apostolic work with the African American and Native American people. St. Katharine Drexel is known for her love of the Eucharist and her contribution to social justice.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doyestown, PA: The Shrine dedicated to Our Lady was built in Pennsylvania by the Polish faithful living in America. It includes a main upper church, as well as many small chapels and an especially beautiful chapel with Our Lady of Czestochowa which is an exact replica of the chapel and sacred image found in the original Shrine in Jasna Gora, Poland.

Shrine of St. John Newmann, Philadelphia, PA: Born in Bohemia, St. John Newmann(1811-1860) became a missionary in the United States, entered the Redemptorist Order and eventually was named Bishop of Philadelphia. He established parochial schools, worked with youth, and promoted the 40 hours devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, Philadelphia, PA: Augustinian nun (1381-1457)– Saint of the Impossible and advocate of difficult cases.

St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, New York, NY: St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) was born in Lombardy, Italy. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in 1880 in Codogno, Italy. Under the encouragement of Pope Leo XIII, she set out for the United States in 1889, where, for the next twenty years, she established many schools, hospitals and orphanages. Her missionary zeal also led her to South America where she founded schools in Argentina, Brazil and Nicaragua and elsewhere. Mother Cabrini died in Chicago on December 22, 1917, and on July 7, 1946 she became the first United States citizen to be canonized. Buried in Upper Manhattan upon her own request, she is the Universal Patroness of Immigrants.

National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, Fonda, NY: Having lost her parents at an early age, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was raised among the Mohawks in the home of an uncle. There she first encountered Christian missionaries, and was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1676 in Fonda, NY near the Jesiut mission in Auriesville. Because of her baptism, her exemplary life, and her desire to remain a virgin, Kateri suffered great persecution. She died at age twenty-four known as the “Lily of the Mowhawks,” since she had given herself over entirely to care for the sick and long hours of prayer and penance. She was beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II. Her body is buried in the church of the Native American  reserve of Kahnawake, Quebec.