About Marytown – A Sacred Space in the Franciscan Tradition
Marytown – the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe, is located in Libertyville, IL in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Marytown is called the “Third city of the Immaculate” (after Niepokalanow, Poland and Nagasaki, Japan) and is a ministry of the Conventual Franciscans Friars of St. Bonaventure Province. Marytown includes a Franciscan Friary, a contemporary Retreat and Conference Center, the Marytown Press – Catholic Books and Gifts, historic Chapels for liturgical life, and numerous outdoor shrines and rosary gardens.
Marytown is the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe as decreed by the U.S. Catholic Bishops. The National Shrine is a place of pilgrimage for the faithful and is dedicated to promoting the witness and life of St. Maximilian, a Conventual Franciscan friar and priest, martyred at Auschwitz. Blessed John Paul II referred to Maximilian Kolbe as “the patron Saint of our difficult century.” The National Shrine dedicated to the Saint includes the Shrine Chapel, an educational Holocaust exhibit, and the relics of St. Maximilian.
At the very heart of Marytown is Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, considered one of the most beautiful pilgrimage sites in the nation. The Chapel has been a sanctuary of perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament since 1928. The Chapel is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for Eucharistic Adoration and prayer. In addition to adoration, we offer twice daily masses and four times daily we celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours with the public. Marytown serves the spiritual needs of a broad community of people – locally and nationally – through our Adoration ministry, daily masses, frequent confession schedule, spiritual direction and spiritual retreats.
Marytown is a Conventual Franciscan Friary carrying out the call of our father St. Francis to “heal wounds, unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.” We are deeply committed to the Holy Father’s call for the New Evangelization. We believe the fullness of Marytown’s ministries and the charism of St. Francis and St. Maximilian are rightly suited to this important cause to strengthen the faithful, to reach out to those that have fallen away from the faith, and to proclaim the Gospel to those who are “seekers” or have no contextual faith experience. In the spirit of Franciscan hospitality, the public is invited and encouraged to participate in all of Marytown’s devotional and liturgical events.
For more information about Marytown – The National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe, please visit us on the web at www.Marytown.com or call us at (847) 367-7800.