A shrine is a more generalised term than “reliquary” which is more specific, because its root word happens to be “relic”. Shrine was originally translated from the Latin word, “scrinium”, which just meant box. But later it was embellished throughout the centuries to have a more sacred meaning. Over the various religious eras, it became a very expensive box, usually made entirely of gold, set with jewels, and contain a reliquary, or other relics, possessions, etc., of a saint or religious figure. So inside one big pretty box, is another box, and possibly another, though all imbued with sacred meaning. Indeed, it is a lingering religious tradition to walk on foot, thousands of miles, to various religious shrines, that is still practiced by millions today, all over the world.
List of shrines in Europe:
Austria – Basilica Mariä Geburt in Mariazell, Styria
Belgium – The shrine of Our Lady at Scherpenheuvel in Flanders
Croatia- The minor basilica of the Mother Mary of Bistrica and National Shrine of St. Joseph on Dubovac in Karlovac
Czech Republic – St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague
France – Minor Basilica (upper church) of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, Cathedral of Our Lady in Reims, where the French kings were crowned and the National Shrine of Our Lady Help of Christians in Nice.
Germany – Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedral
Ireland – The minor basilica of Our Lady of Knock Queen of Ireland in Knock.
Italy – The shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary cathedral at Loreto in Italy and Pontifical Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua.
Latvia – The minor basilica of BVM Assumption in Aglona.
Malta – The minor basilica of National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu in Għarb.
Poland – Divine Mercy Shrine in Płock, Shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Częstochowa, Wawel Cathedral of St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus in Kraków, JHS Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen in Licheń Stary.
Portugal – Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Fatima
Spain – The shrine of the Apostle Saint James the Great at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, historically the third Catholic pilgrimage destination after Jerusalem and Rome, the Santuario Nacional de la Gran Promesa in Valladolid and the Mare de Déu de Montserrat in Terrassa.
United Kingdom – The shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Walsingham, the shrine of St Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey, the shrine of St Winifred at Holywell in Wales, the Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady of Cardigan, also in Wales, the National Shrine of Saint Boniface at Creditone, and the Shrine of Our Lady of Westminster in Westminster Cathedral.
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