The Most Popular and Largest Shrines to the Virgin Mary
Are you a Marian devotee? These sites are absolutely a must-see for you!
A Shrine to the Virgin Mary is a shrine marking an apparition or other miracle ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It could also be a site on which is centered a historically strong Marian devotion. Shrine to the Virgin Mary is also called Marian Shrine.
Here are the most famous and the biggest Shrines of the Virgin Mary from the different parts of the world.
Our Lady of Lourdes
The “Our Lady of Lourdes” in France is perhaps the most popular Shrine of the Virgin Mary. With a population of about 15,000 people, it receives about 5,000,000 pilgrims annually and within France only Paris has more hotel rooms than Lourdes.
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France. The apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes started on February 1858 when a 14-year-old peasant girl told her mother that she had seen a "lady" in a cave while gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. It has been reported that the “lady” appeared 17 times more on the same year.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a very popular and celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. According to tradition, a young converted Aztec indigenous peasant named Juan Diego had a vision of young woman in a hill in Tepeyac Desert in Mexico and he was told to build a church on the hill in December 1531.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is housed in the Basilica of Guadalupe, one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world. It is the country’s most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles "Queen of Mexico", "Empress of the Americas", and "Patroness of the Americas". This Basilica the world’s third largest Catholic Church.
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima or Nossa Senhora de Fátima in Portuguese is a well-known and famous title given to the Virgin Mary. According to tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in apparitions to 3 shepherd children named Lucia dos Santos, Jacinta Marto and Francisco Marto is 1917 6 times.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima is one of the world’s largest Marian shrines and is one of Portugal’s most visited religious edifices. The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also sometimes used to refer to the same apparition.
Our Lady of the Pillar
The “Our Lady of the Pillar” is housed in the Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar or Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Spanish. This popular Catholic Church is located in Zaragoza in Aragon, Spain.
The Basilica venerates Blessed Virgin Mary and praised as Mother of the Hispanic Peoples Pope John Paul II. It is reputed to be the first church dedicated to Mary in history.
Our Lady of La Salette
An apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary was reported by 2 shepherd children named Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat in 1846 at La Sallette, a small mountaintop village in France
The image of the “Our Lady of La Sallette” is contained on the church on the hill. La Salette, like the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, remains one of the most famous Marian apparitions of modern times.
Our Lady of Aparecida
The Our Lady of Aparecida is the Patroness of Brazil. It is housed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Aarecida in the town of Aparecida in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is also called Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Who Appeared. Lady Aparecida was officially declared as " world’s the largest Marian Temple" in 1984. As of 1999, the number of pilgrims was 6.6 million.
Our Lady of Good Health
The Our Lady of Good Health is contained in the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health located in the town of Velankanni in the Tamil Nadu state of India.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni, also known as the "Lourdes of the East," is one of the most frequented religious sites in India receiving about 2 million pilgrims very year.
Our Lady of Manaoag
The Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is a 17th century Catholic ivory icon. It is formally called Nuestra Señora del Santissimo Rosario de Manaoag which means Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. It is one of the most popular and widely visited Catholic Pilgrimages in the country.
The Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, which is housed in the Manaoag Cathedral, is one of the most venerated Marian images of Mary in the Philippines. Mary, under this title, is officially known as the patroness of the sick, the helpless and the needy. The Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag is located 200 km north of Manila in Manaoag, Pangasinan.
Knock Shrine is a major Catholic pilgrimage site located in the village of Knock, County Mayo in Ireland. It is also the country’s National Shrine and claimed there was an apparition of the Virgin Mary together with St. Joseph, St. John and Jesus Christ in 1879.
Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland Basilica.
Shrine of the Holy Shrine
The Shrine of the Holy House or Santuario della Santa Casa is a Catholic pilgrimage site in Loreto, Italy. It contains the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mary lived. It is a popular tourist destination for non-Catholics as well.
Our Lady of Tinos
Our Lady of Tinos or "The All-Holy Bringer of Good News" is the major Marian shrine in Greece. It is located in the town of Tinos on the island of Tinos. According to tradition, the site is where the Virgin Mary appeared to the nun St. Pelagia. The beautiful church is often called the same, and is considered a protectress of seafarers and healer of the infirm.
Our Lady of Peace
The Our Lady of Peace is housed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, a Catholic minor basilica. It is located in Yamoussoukro, administrative capital of Cote d’Ivoire. Guinness World Records lists it as the world’s largest church in the world followed by St. Peter’s Basilica. This edifice has an area of 30,000 m² and is 158 m in height. This awesomely huge church can accommodate 18,000 worshippers, compared to 60,000 for St. Peter's
Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major
The Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome is the largest Catholic Marian Church in the city. The basilica is owned by the Holy See and enjoys extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. The building is patrolled internally not by Italian police but by police agents of Vatican City State.