Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

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Mass location changed while Monte Cassino Shrine undergoes restoration

July 05, 2017

Monte -Cassino -Aerial -Front

The regular Saturday morning Mass held at Monte Cassino Shrine, Saint Meinrad Archabbey's chapel to honor the Blessed Mother, has been moved to a new location while the shrine undergoes some restoration.  

Beginning July 15, Mass will be held at the usual 7 a.m. (Central Time) in the Guest House Chapel, located on the grounds of Saint Meinrad Archabbey.

Weather and time have taken a toll on Monte Cassino Shrine. Recently, a generous benefactor stepped forward to lead the effort to stabilize the original sandstone structure, beautify the grounds, and make needed repairs and improvements.

The project is being conducted in several phases. Last summer, work was completed to reinforce and stabilize the building and tuck point the exterior. The wooden front doors and stone finials have been restored, and the votive candle stands have been refinished.

This summer, a sandstone front patio will be installed, with a prayer garden nearby. In addition, the artwork on the inside walls of the chapel is being cleaned and restored.

A heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was recently installed. This will enhance the comfort of visitors and keep the painted walls and woodwork from deteriorating. Better lighting also will be added.

Devotion to the Marian shrine goes back to the mid-19th century. The wooded hilltop was first marked as a special place by monks and students in 1857, when they attached an image of Our Lady to an oak tree. In 1866, a small frame building was constructed. That was replaced by the current sandstone chapel with its stained glass windows, which was dedicated in 1870.

Prayers for Mary's intercession have led to various reports of cures and healings. In fact, a novena to Our Lady of Monte Cassino is credited for saving the town from a smallpox epidemic in 1871. However, the shrine is best known as a quiet, peaceful place for prayer and reflection.

Today, pilgrims continue to visit the shrine regularly. On the Sundays in May and October, the shrine is the site of a popular rosary pilgrimage.