Shrines and Holy Places
Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Cathedral & Mulberry Sts.
Baltimore, MD 21201
The historic Baltimore Basilica, built from 1806-1821, was the first great metropolitan cathedral constructed in the United States.
With the adoption of the new Constitution, Church leaders wanted to build a cathedral to celebrate their newly acquired right to worship openly. Bishop Carroll adopted the neoclassical architecture of the new federal city in Washington. He wanted an architectural symbol that was considered "American."
Learning of Bishop Carroll's effort, Latrobe volunteered his architectural services. Henry Latrobe, was considered father of American architecture, and Thomas Jefferson's Architect of the Capitol.
President Jefferson's insistence on skylights for the U.S. Capitol inspired Latrobe and his design for the Cathedral's grand dome. The Basilica, which culminated years of architectural refinement by Latrobe, is now considered one of the world's finest examples of 19th century architecture.
Situated majestically on a hill above Baltimore Harbor, the historic Basilica was the center of the country's first archdiocese, from which two-thirds of U.S. Catholic dioceses can trace their heritage.
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen
5300 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21210
The Cathedral was made possible by the late Thomas J. O'Neill (1849-1919) who left funding for construction in a bequest.
In October 1954, ground was broken for the contemporary Gothic structure and it was dedicated in 1959.
Our Lady of the Highways
Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
P.O. Box 87
Childs, MD 21916-0087
The Seminary of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales is just off I95. One night there was a bad accident and the seminarians and priests ran out to minister to the dead and the dying.
In response to this tragedy the head of the order decided to ask Mary, the Mother of God to pray for all of the people that travel each day. They built a shrine to Our Lady of the Highways right next to the interstate as thousands of people drive by it each day. It is hoped that those who ask for Her intercession will be guided safely down the road.
National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
On the Campus of: Mount St. Mary's University
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
In 1805, Father John DuBois, a refugee from France, came to Maryland. According to legend, Father DuBois was attracted to "a light on the mountain and found a blessed spot, one of the loveliest in the world and there erected a rude cross, the symbol of the holy work he was undertaking." This was the original Grotto.
In 1809 Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton came to Saint Mary's Mountain and lived in Father DuBois' log cabin for six weeks---until her home in St. Joseph's Valley was completed. It is possible that Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton first called this holy shrine the "Grotto", for we find this reference in one of her letters dated May 27, 1810.
Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Saint Bernadette in 1858. The replica of the revered French shrine was built about 17 years later, in 1875.
Basilica of the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
333 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727-9297 USA
Elizabeth Ann Seton was born in New York City in 1774 to wealthy Episcopalian parents. Her mother died when she was three. She married in 1793 and had five children. Her husband's business went bankrupt. Shortly thereafter he became ill and died in Italy 1803. While in Italy Elisabeth stayed with a wealthy Catholic family and two years later converted to Catholicism. A year later, she was confirmed by Bishop John Carroll in Baltimore.
In 1809 she moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland to help the French emigré community of Sulpician Fathers. The following year she established the Saint Joseph's Academy and with financial support from Samuel Sutherland Cooper a school for Catholic girls. She then founded a religious community dedicated to the care of the children of the poor. The order was called the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. It was the first religious community of non-cloistered Religious Sisters in the US. The school was the first free Catholic school in America. Elizabeth died of tuberculosis at the age of 46.
The National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was erected in 1965.
Her remains are entombed under the Altar of Relics.
The statue on the altar was sculpted in Italy. It depicts Mother Seton dressed with a habit which she and the Sisters of Charity wore beginning in 1809. Beneath the altar and enclosed in marble, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton's remains rest in a small copper casket. Her remains were transferred here in 1968.
In 1991 the shrine was designated a Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II.
Adjacent to the Basilica is the Visitors center with:
The Orientation Theater.
The Shrine Museum provides.
The Everlasting Expression Wall.
A Gift Shop