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Shrines: places of devotion and pilgrimage

Carmelites have many significant Shrines throughout the world to which large numbers of people often come in pilgrimage to express their devotion. It is not surprising that the shrines and pilgrimages play a significant role in Carmelite life as many of the first Carmelites on Mount Carmel were probably themselves pilgrims to the Holy Land.

Carmelite Shrines are places of welcome, solidarity and ecumenical commitment, providing services to needy brothers and sisters. 

While most of the Carmelite Shrines around the world are dedicated to Our Lady, many others are dedicated to one or more of the Saints and Blesseds associated with the Order.

Marian Shrines

Carmelites have always reserved a special place of importance for their Marian Shrines. This is no surprise as the Marian influence on the Carmelite Order comes from its earliest days. We know that an oratory dedicated to Mary under the title “Our Lady of the Place” stood in the midst of those cells on Mount Carmel. When Carmelites came to Europe, they frequently would establish shrines for pilgrims to come and express their devotion to God and to Our Lady.

Today, Carmelite Marian Shrines are centres in which the Word of God is prayerfully heard and where there is a strong liturgical life. They often include centres of reflection on the path taken by Mary, who is Mother of God, of the Church and of all humanity.

As well as making pilgrimages to their own Shrines, Carmelites frequently make pilgrimages to the other important Marian Shrines in the Church (for example: Lourdes and Fatima). 

Other Shrines

Many Carmelite Shrines are devoted to the Saints and Blesseds of Carmel or to those Saints with whom the Carmelite Family has had a strong connection over the centuries. For example: Aylesford Priory (United Kingdom), where the first General Chapter of the Order outside of the Holy Land was held, is closely associated with Saint Simon Stock. The National Shrine of Saint Jude is found in Faversham (United Kingdom).

For further information on some of our Carmelite Shrines throughout the world, please select one of the following links which will bring you to the website for each shrine:

Aylesford, The Friars
(British Province – Aylesford, Kent, United Kingdom)

The principal house of the Carmelite religious order that came to Kent in 1242. Home to the Shrine of the Virgin Mary and Saint Simon Stock.

Basilica Santuario del Carmine Maggiore
(General Commissariat “La Bruna” – Naples, Italy)

Home to the icon of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel called "La Bruna" (seems to be the work of the Tuscan school of the thirteenth century).


Carmelite Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary “On the Sand”
(Polish Province – Krakow, Poland)

Home to the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary “On the Sand”.


Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Malta
(Maltese Province – Valletta, Malta)

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, original church dates to 1570 – home to a painting of Our Lady of Mount Carmel dating from the early 17th century.


Whitefriar Street Church
(Irish Province – Dublin, Ireland)

Home to the Shrine of Our Lady of Dublin and to the Relics of Saint Valentine.


National Shrine and Museum of St. Thérèse
(Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary - Darien, Illinois, USA)

A place where people come to learn about St. Therese and her life, to honour her, and to pray to her and be with her.

National Shrine of Saint Jude
(British Province – Faversham, United Kingdom)

Home to the Shrine of Saint Jude.