Catholic Churches, Shrines and Sites of Interest in France
The rich Catholic history of France is reflected in the many shrines throughout the country. Known as Gaul during the time of Roman rule, Christianity came to France in the early 2nd Century and took root despite persecution. Much of the great architecture and learning of the middle ages took place in France under the auspices of the Catholic Church. The French revolution unfortunately brought much of that to a halt with the desecration of churches, execution of priests and religious and general disdain for all things that pertained to the Catholic Church. It was allegedly the “age of reason” that saw no place for belief in God.
Fortunately, once that madness passed, many churches were restored to their natural beauty or else re-built. Today many of them reflect the original beauty that they possessed before the revolution. And, despite what you might think, there is a growing traditionalist trend among Catholics in France, especially among young Catholics.
France is the most-visited country in Europe for foreign tourists.
And France is both geographically beautiful and diverse-a country, roughly the size of Texas. Traveling through the countryside you will find quaint villages, vineyards, the majestic French Alps, the Pyrenees mountains, the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic as well as the sunlit beaches of the Mediterranean. You will find each region of France offers its own special attractions for Catholic travelers both for organized groups and independent travelers.
And most of these locations offer special festivals and feast day celebrations throughout the year.
Here are just a few of the many sites of interest to Catholics:
Ars: Saint John Vianney
Bargemon: Shrine of Our Lady of Bargemon
Bar-sur-Seine: Our Lady of the Oak
Chartres: Chartres Cathedral
Chateauneuf-de-Galaure: The Home of Venerable Marthe Robin
Colmar: The Unterlinden Museum and the Insenheim Altarpiece
Conques: The Abbey of Saint Foy
Dijon: Our Lady of Hope
La Garde Freinet: Our Lady of Miremer
La Louvesc: Basilica of Saint Francis Regis
LaSalette: Apparitions of Our Lady of La Salette
Laus: Our Lady of Laus
Le Barroux: Abbey of Saint Madeleine
Le Plan-d’Aups-Ste. Baume: Saint Mary Magdaline
Le Puy-en-Velay: Sanctuary of Our Lady of Le Puy
L’Ile-Bouchard: Apparitions of Our Lady of Prayer (Marte Robin)
Lisieux: St. Therese of Lisieux
Lyon: Our Lady of Fourviere
Martinique: Overseas region of France (Caribbean)
Mont St. Michel: Saint Michael’s Mountain
Montfort sur Meu: Birthplace of St. Louis de Montfort
Noirtable: Notre-Dame de l’Hermitage
Normandy Coast: D-Day beaches, American Cemetery
Orcival: Baslica of Our Lady of Orcival
Paray le Monial: Saint Mary Margaret Alacoque
Pellevoison: Our Lady of Mercy and the White Scapular
Pontmain: Our Lady of Pontmain
Rocamadour: Our Lady of Rocamadour
Rouen: Saint Joan of Arc
Saint Anne d’Auray: Basilica of Saint Anne
Saint-Laurent sur Severes: St. Louis de Montfort & Blessed Marie Louise Trichet
Saint Maximin-le-Sainte-Baume Shrine of St, Mary Magdeline
Tours: Saint Martin of Tours
Verdelaise: Basilica of Our Lady of the Afflicted