First, let’s be real: the “Roamin’ Catholic” phrase is overused and eye-roll inducing, but it’s fun. Second, let’s talk travel.
For many who know me in person, you all know that I’m a frequent traveler. On any school break, you will not find me at home. Rather, I’ve been known to go far and wide, never leaving enough time for grass to grow under my feet. The cool thing about being Catholic and full is wanderlust is that there are no shortages of holy places around the world to visit. Without delay, here are just a few places I’d like to visit before I cross into eternity.
- The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City, Mexico: It’s one of the most visited shrines in the world, and luckily, it’s on my continent. Also, the opportunity to see St. Juan Diego’s tilma is once (maybe twice) in a lifetime.
- The Holy Land: When I was 16, I was privileged to visit Israel with my mom. At the time, I thought I appreciated it. But in reality, I was 16 years old and my mind wasn’t concerned about ancient history.
- National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.: It’s described as the “nation’s Catholic Church.” Only 8 hours away by car, and faster by plane.
- National Shrine of the Twenty-Six Martyrs, Nagasaki, Japan: Nagasaki, in the past and today, has the highest concentration of Catholics in Japan. After reading A Song for Nagasaki by Fr. Paul Glynn, I’d like to revisit Japan, especially this shrine.
- The Sheshan Basilica, Shanghai, China: I believe that this basilica is now under the control of the Patriotic Catholic Church (think: state-approved Catholicism). Still, Our Lady of Sheshan and Our Lady of China are two of my favorite depictions of Jesus and Mary. I would love to see where the images found their beginnings.
- The Lourdes Shrine, Lourdes, France: Where the alleged apparitions of Mary occurred in 1858 (received by St. Bernadette), Lourdes is home to the miraculous water spring. Also, the story of Our Lady of Lourdes has always touched my heart.
- Oratory of St. Joseph Basilica, Montreal, Canada: St. Andre Bessette was known as God’s Doorman. A simple man, he was a porter for the Congregation of the Holy Cross in Montreal, Canada. However, St. Andre became known far and wide for his healing ability, which he credited to the intercession of St. Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. St. Andre never took credit for his gift from God. Before he died, St. Andre saw to it that a basilica was built in honor of St. Joseph: a masculine model of love of Christ. There, you can see the crutches of those were, and are still being, healed.
These are just a few of the places I’d like to visit. Have you been to one or more of the places listed above? What other shrines, chapels, and memorials would you recommend? Comment below!