“The physicality of the pilgrimage is what is so powerful. Being in this place with other people who share your faith, who are journeying for the same reason, you find this bond, this unity, and this courage to persevere.” — Reverend Monsignor Vito A. Buonanno, Director of Pilgrimages
The history of pilgrimages dates back to ancient times, rooted in Judaic tradition and the journey to Jerusalem. In the early days of Christianity, the faithful continued this practice, journeying to the Holy Land to visit and pray at the places associated with the life of Christ. Today, the faithful around the world carry on this tradition of a spiritual and physical act that is such a beautiful example of embodiment and devotion.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is designated as a pilgrimage church by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is also the preeminent Marian Shrine of the United States. With over 80 chapels and oratories that relate to the Blessed Mother and peoples from countries around the world, one can virtually make a pilgrimage to any of the great Marian shrines of the world and receive their same graces and indulgences by visiting the Basilica. Learn more about pilgrimages at the Basilica on our pilgrimages page.
During the autumn months, there are a variety of annual pilgrimages at the Basilica, listed below: