History and Cultural Heritage

The term Sanctuary comes from the Latin Sanctus, meaning Saint. The Association’s 19 shrines are all spiritual places and linked to the Roman Catholic faith. In the past, pilgrims travelled to worship the relics of saints or because the sites themselves were remarkable, due to extraordinary spiritual experiences. These sites are full of history, combining spirituality, beauty, Christian and cultural heritage with artistic traditions from Romanesque to Gothic art and beyond. Despite their shared faith, each Sanctuary is profoundly different, a reflection of the image of its founders, their respective history and the message they convey.