Catholic Shrines & Places of Interest in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Despite opposition from the English King, William Penn’s “holy experiment” of religious toleration (1682) in the colony of Pennsylvania was a refuge for persecuted Catholics as well as other religions. The Mass was celebrated publicly as early as 1707. Old Saint Joseph’s Church, the first Catholic church in Philadelphia, was built in 1733. The Catholic population increased from forty people at that time to about eight thousand by 1790.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has many shrines of interest to Catholic travelers and was the location of the World Meeting of Families that coincided with the visit of Pope Francis in 2015.
Among the Shrines & Churches here in the city of Philadelphia are:
Carmelite Monastery: Relics of Saint Therese, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul (body of St. Katherine Drexel)
There are also two other significant shrines outside the city, but still within the Diocese of Philadelphia: