The Blessed Virgin Mary is known worldwide in many different sites of the globe. Due to her apparitions, there are some places where Catholics erected shrines to pay homage to Saint Mary. Many pilgrims visit these sites due to their strong faith in God, but not everyone can visit them so easily; if this is your case, consider to create at your own house small altars to pay homage to the Blessed Virgin Mary, like if it was a proper sanctuary at home.
Continue reading the article to discover the 5 most famous Virgins and Marian Shrines in the world and our tips on how to make your house a sanctuary for your spirit and soul.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Mexico
Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is associated with a series of five Marian apparitions in December 1531 and she’s venerate in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico City. This sanctuary is the most-visited Catholic shrine in the world and the third most-visited sacred site. According to Catholics, the young woman who appeared identified herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary and she was said to have asked for a church to be erected in her honor at the site where she appeared. After miraculous healings and many apparitions of the Virgin, in the end a magnificent shrine was erected to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.
If you want to pray to the Holy Virgin, Patroness of all Spanish-speaking people, you can have your own colored Our Lady of Guadalupe statue in resin, for the daily protection of your home and family.
Our Lady of Medjugorje
Our Lady of Medjugorje Shrine, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Medjugorje is a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina which became one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Catholics after some Marian apparitions to six children since June 1981. Its sanctuary is visited by more than 1 million pilgrims every year and it is one of the biggest prayer centers in the world. The particularity of this Catholic Shrine is the landscape nearby: it is surrounded by mountains with easy climbing paths, beautiful scenery views and fresh mountain air. Since the visions appeared, there have been over 30 million people visiting Medjugorje. The first visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were seen by teenagers who were walking on the Apparition Hill in 1981.
Despite the first apparitions are dated 1981, the pilgrimage to Medjugorje has been officially authorized by the Vatican in 2019.
If you cannot go to Medjugorje to visit the Blessed Virgin Mary, you can have a representation of the Virgin at your own place: shop now the Our Lady of Medjugorje statue in resin, and decor your altars at home with this magnificent religious figure.
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes Sanctuary, France
Among the most famous Marian Shrines of the world, there is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, in France. In 1858, the 14 year old girl Bernadette Soubirous said she had 18 apparitions of a ”beautiful lady” in a cave, really close to Massabielle.
The sanctuary of Lourdes has 3 main basilicas: the Immaculate Conception Basilica, the Our Lady of the Rosary Basilica and the Saint Pius X Basilica. On the other side of the river, there is the veneration Chapel, where the faithful pray the Holy Virgin everyday from 9am to 5pm. The Sanctuary of Lourdes is particularly associated with sick people that hope for miraculous healing; for this reason it is visited by a lot of sick faithful.
According to the faithful, the rite of immersion in the waters of Lourdes is the best way to invoke the healing of someone who’s sick. For this reason, many faithful use to fill up their bottles with the water of Lourdes and bring them home.
If you cannot physically visit the Sanctuary but you wish to venerate this Holy Virgin, you can have your own Our Lady of Lourdes statue and pray for the sick people around you. Dedicate your prayers to this miraculous Virgin and help your beloved ones in their healing.
Our Lady of Fátima
Our Lady of Fátima Shrine, Portugal
Among the most famous Marian apparitions officially recognized by the Catholic Church, the Our Lady of Fátima apparitions in Portugal are the most famous. The young shepherdesses Lúcia dos Santos and Jacinto Marto, together with Francisco Marto, while taking care of their sheep, saw a cloud coming down and a white-dressed lady holding a rosary in her hands, the Virgin Mary. After this apparition, the Holy Virgin told them to come to that same site every 13th day of each month, until the 13th of October. The Holy Virgin revealed to these 3 shepherds about some future events and how to avoid them.
The message of Our Lady of Fátima is basically about penitence and prayer. In one of her apparitions in 1917, the Blessed Virgin reiterated about the importance of praying everyday by using the holy rosary, to let the First World War end.
Nowadays the Shrine of Fátima is one of the most visited Marian Sanctuaries in the world.
If you are devoted to Our Lady of Fátima and you wish the world could live forever in peace, you can dedicate your daily prayers to our statue of the Portuguese Virgin. Underneath the representation of the Virgin, there are the three little shepherds who first had the apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima.
Our Lady of Loreto
Our Lady of Loreto Shrine, Italy
The Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto is one of the most visited Marian shrines in the world. It is settled in Loreto (Italy), and it preserves, according to Catholics, the remains of the Holy House of Nazareth, where Jesus and the Holy Virgin lived during their life and where the young Mary had the Annunciation of her pregnancy.
Our Lady of Loreto, represented with the iconography of the Lauretan Virgin, is considered the Patron Saint of aviators.
If you cannot travel right now and you wish to have a bit of the Loreto Shrine at home, shop now the Our Lady of Loreto statue in resin and address your daily prayer to this very important Virgin to protect your friends and family.
How to Make Your House a Sanctuary for Your Spirit and Soul
A sanctuary is a place where Catholics meet their faith, where they have a strong connection with the Virgin (or the Saint) they are devoted to the most. During these times in which we are forced to stay at home and we cannot travel that much due to the coronavirus crisis, we can find out that even our own place can be our personal sanctuary, our refuge, our peaceful place of nourishment, where we can feel protected and safe. Many Catholics adorn their houses with religious statues of Saints and Virgins, in order to calm the mind, soothe the soul and dedicate a part of the day to praying. Our home is a sacred space which provides protection and peace. This is because our house is a refuge, a sanctuary, a place that hugs us when we come in through the door.
If you have a strong Catholic faith, you can have your own altar at home with the figures of the most famous Blessed Virgins in the world, and dedicate your daily prayers to them.