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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:

Basilica Shrine of the Miraculous Medal

Carmelite Monastery:  Relics of Saint Therese, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul (shrine of Saint Katherine Drexel)

National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia

National Shrine of Saint John Neumann

Old Saint Joseph’s Church

Old Saint Mary’s Church



There are also two other significant shrines outside the city, but still within the Diocese of Philadelphia:


The National Shrine of Czestochowa (Doylestown)

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla Shrine (Warminster)

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