50 States 51 Marian Pilgrimages

50 States 51 Marian Pilgrimages

In a recent post for The National Catholic Register, Father Dwight Longenecker encourages Catholics to go on pilgrimages. “On a pilgrimage, you step outside your comfort zone. You see the world from a fresh perspective.” He encourages.  Unfortunately, pilgrimages can be expensive endeavors and not everyone has the resources needed to set out on a European tour or a trip to the Holy Land.  Wonderfully, we have many, many sites right here in the United States that are worthy of being visited on pilgrimages. You might have one in your very own hometown.  In contemplating Father Longenecker’s article I began to wonder if every state has a shrine or a pilgrimage site. Then I began to wonder if I could narrow the category further to encompass Marian sites alone and that is how this post came about.  

I’ve spent several weeks researching Marian shrines within the United States.  For a site to be considered a shrine, it typically attracts pilgrims due to it possessing a relic or a sacred image or is a replica of a famous pilgrimage site overseas.  For a shrine to be designated a “National Shrine” the USCCB has established rigorous norms which are explained here. I did not find actual shrines for every state. For those states which did not have shrines I researched to find either a historically significant church dedicated to Our Lady or a particularly beautiful church named for Mary.  I really wanted to compile a worthy list of Marian pilgrimage locations with the best links available and while my list is not exhaustive in any sense of the word, there is a site for each state and Washington DC.

Alabama–Ave Maria Grotto of the Benedictine Abby, Cullman

Alaska–Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Juneau

Arizona–Our Lady of the Sierras, Hereford

Arkansas–Our Lady of the Ozarks Shrine, Winslow

California–Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine, Colusa

Colorado–Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Colorado Springs

Connecticut–Saint Mary’s Church, New Haven

Delaware–Our Lady Queen of Peace Statue, New Castle

Florida–Our Lady of LaLeche Shrine, Saint Augustine

Georgia–Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Atlanta

Hawaii–Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, Honolulu

Idaho–Our Lady of Tears, Silver City

Illinois–National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville

Indiana–National Shrine of Our Lady of Providence, Saint Mary of the Woods

Iowa–Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace Statue, Trinity Heights

Kansas–Immaculate Heart of Mary and Grotto, Windthorst

Kentucky–Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington

Louisiana–Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, New Orleans

Maine–Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland

Maryland–National Shrine Grotto, Emmitsburg 

Massachusetts–Our Lady of La Salette, Attleboro

Michigan–Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pontiac

Minnesota–Epiphany Fatima Shrine, Coon Rapids

Mississippi–Saint Mary’s Basilica, Natchez

Missouri–National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Perryville

Montana–Our Lady of the Rockies Statue, Butte

Nebraska–Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Arapahoe

Nevada–Saint Mary’s in the Mountains, Virginia City

New Hampshire–Our Lady of La Salette Shrine, Enfield

New Jersey–Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Asbury

New Mexico–Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Fe

New York–National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Stony Point

North Carolina–Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, Belmont Abbey

North Dakota–Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo

Ohio–Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, Carey

Oklahoma–Our Lady of Clear Creek Monastery, Clear Creek

Oregon–The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother and The Grotto, Portland

Pennsylvania–Miraculous Medal Shrine, Philadelphia

Rhode Island–Our Lady of the Rosary, Providence

South Carolina–Our Lady of Joyful Hope, Kingstree

South Dakota–House of Mary Shrine, Yanktown

Tennessee–Virgin of the Poor Shrine, South Pittsburg

Texas–Marian Shrine of Our Lady fo Schoenstatt, Austin

Utah–Saint Mary’s Old Chapel, Park City

Vermont–Our Lady of Ephesus House of Prayer, Jamaica

Virginia–Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk

Washington–Our Lady of Lourdes, Spokane

Washington DC–Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

West Virginia–Saint Mary’s Orthodox Church, Morgantown

Wisconsin–National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Champion

Wyoming–Our Lady of Peace Shrine and Statue, Pine Bluffs


Have you visited any of the sites listed above? Is there a particular Marian themed pilgrimage not listed which you have visited and could tell us about? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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