Tuesday, February 24, 2015

#RoaminCatholicism

We Catholic Hipsters are a pilgrim people.

We love taking trips to Marian apparition sites, famous churches, and even road side rests that have been turned into shrines of one kind of another.  

With that in mind, today we begin our latest endeavor: #RoaminCatholicism 

While Catholic destinations like Lourdes, Fatima, and the Vatican highlight some of the top choices for the everyday Papist traveler, we're taking a look at some lesser known destinations; places that only a true Catholic Hipster would have interest in visiting. 

In no particular order, we present to you our five Catholic Hipster pilgrimage destinations: 

1. Mary's House in Ephesus


Discovered in 1881 by Fr. Gouyet following the reported visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Mary's House in Ephesus has seen quite a number of high profile visitors in it's day. Blessed Pope Paul VI, St. John Paul II, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI all made trips during their pontificates, and lead the way for what is a rapidly growing number of pilgrims to the amazing site. 

Can you even imagine standing in the humble home of Mary's final days on Earth? Chills.

2. St. Faustina's Convent in Vilnius, Lithuania 


St. Faustina and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy are often thought of as coming out of Poland. This is due to the fact that the convent where St. Faustina spent most of her life was politically a part of Poland at the time of the apparitions. However, today, the convent where St. Faustina received her vision of Jesus, received her mission of spreading the message of Divine Mercy, and wrote her now famous diary, is in the town of Vinius, Lithuania.

The actual image that she was instructed to have painted resides in this little known town. Again...chills.  


3. The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland


One of the lesser known Marian apparition sites, Knock is a must stop for any Catholic Hipsters out on tour in Western Europe. On August 21, 1879, fifteen people saw an apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John along with an altar sporting a cross and a lamb, surrounded by the Heavenly Host. Even in the pouring rain, the witnesses to this apparition prayed the rosary for nearly two hours, taking note of the fact that the apparition remained completely bathed in light despite the oncoming darkness of night. In addition, the area under the apparition remained completely dry, in spite of all the rain. 

St. John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta are just two our epics heroes who have visited the site. I said it before, and I'll say it again...chills. 


4. The Carmelite Convent of St. Therese of Lisieux


When Catholics think of a pilgrimage to France, Lourdes rightfully dominates the mind. However, the second most visited Catholic site in France is the convent where St. Therese, the Little Flower, spent her time as a Carmelite. This beloved Saint's Story of a Soul has helped and continues to help countless people grow into a deeper relationship with Our Lord, and practically everyone has their own story of someone they know receiving roses after praying to this awesome Doctor of the Church. 

Can you imagine standing in the cell where she lived and prayed? Yep, you guessed it, chills.


5. Our Lady of Akita, Yuzawadai, Japan


Japan is not only totally hip, but it is also home to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa. Sister Agnes had spent much of her life profoundly ill after a botched appendix  operation. After drinking from the water at Lourdes, her health completely improved, outside of an irreversible deafness. She moved in with the nuns of the remote Yuzawadai prefecture, and this is where she experienced visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These visions were accompanied by Sr. Agnes receiving the stigmata, and most famously by the weeping statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was even shown to be weeping live on National television. During a Mass in 1982, Sr. Agnes was completely cured of her deafness, as she was told to expect, with no medical explanation found after numerous tests. 

To be able to see the statue of Our Lady of Akita, which has been observed weeping on 101 occassions? Chills.


So, our dearest Catholic Hipster friends, which of these five would make the top of your list? As usual, you can let your voice heard via the poll on the right side of the page, in the comments section at the bottom of the page, or via Twitter with the hashtag #RoaminCatholicism.

Let the flight booking begin! 

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