Catholic Shrines & Places of Interest in Switzerland

About the Catholic Church in Switzerland:

The country has a unique make-up among modern countries, both in its method of governance and its variety of religious beliefs.

Each of its 22 Cantons controls much of its own destiny, relegating only matters such as national defense, foreign affairs, etc. to its national government. Some of these Cantons actually recognize Catholicism as the official religion of the Canton, while others do not. By official, we mean that the Canton will collect taxes for the local parish. This rather unique situation would seem to be at odds with modern-day history but has worked out for the Swiss.

Their constitution actually requires approval by the federal government before a new diocese can be established and some cantons even have a say in who will be named Bishop. This applies to both Protestant and Catholic churches. The country itself is a mix of geographical backgrounds; the predominant being German, French and to a smaller degree, Italian.

Among the most famous Catholic sites in Switzerland are:

Bourg-Saint-Pierre: Great Saint Bernard Hospice

Einsiedeln:  The Shrine of Our Lady of Einsiedeln (the Black Madonna)

Mariastein:  Mariastein Abbey

Orselina:  The Shrine of Our Lady of the Rock

Saint Nicholas of Flue: patron saint and honored by all. (coming soon)

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