St. Frances Cabrini Shrine 701 Fort Washington Ave.
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The Role of Sacred Relics in Faith
Why do Catholics venerate relics of saints? Is the practice superstitious, Biblical, or something else?
A new exhibit at St. Frances Cabrini Shrine explores the fascinating role sacred relics have played in faith over the centuries. It examines the use of relics in the early church, delves into how the Church authenticates them today, and presents over 20 first-class relics from the collection of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for veneration.
“Thousands of pilgrims come to the Shrine each year to draw closer to Mother Cabrini both physically and spiritually,” says Julia Attaway, Executive Director of the Shrine. “But there are also people who wander in and wonder exactly what the story is with relics.” The exhibit is designed to answer their questions. A free companion brochure provides background on each saint along with prayers to get started.
St. Frances Shrine is a particularly appropriate venue for the exhibit since it is home to the largest first-class relic in the city, that of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, the patron saint of immigrants. Mother Cabrini’s remains lie under the main altar in the chapel, clothed in her religious habit.
A dynamic leader and practical problem-solver, Mother Cabrini founded 67 schools, orphanages, and hospitals. On July 7, 1946 she became the first American citizen to be named a saint. On the day she was canonized over 45,000 people trekked to northern Manhattan to venerate her relics.
St. Frances Cabrini Shrine is located at 701 Fort Washington Avenue and is open 10-5 every day except Monday and major holidays. Limited parking is available on site. The Shrine lies within walking distance of the Cloisters Museum, which has a collection of ornate medieval reliquaries.
Please note group visits require reservations due to COVID-19 precautions.
The exhibit will be open through June 30, 2021.
Ashes of St. Peter Chrysologus, Doctor of the Church