Mother Cabrini Shrine is a shrine in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. Originally a summer camp for the girls from the Queen of Heaven Orphanage, the property became a place of prayer, pilgrimage and devotion after the canonization of St. Cabrini in 1946. The Shrine offers retreat facilities, daily mass and is open every day for visitors and pilgrims to come and pray, explore and visit.
The Cabrini Garden is an area devoted to depicting the life of Frances Xavier Cabrini. The center of the garden features a statue of Mother Cabrini gently guiding two young orphans.
This garden is a reminder that the property here at the Shrine was originally bought as a summer home for the girls at the Queen of Heaven Orphanage in Denver. The statue stands as a symbol of the love, compassion, concern and care Mother Cabrini and the Sisters had for the poor and the homeless, especially children.
In the summer of 2014, the Cabrini Museum opened so that the life and missionary work of Saint Cabrini could be shared with visitors and pilgrims. The museum is located in the corner of Cabrini Garden in a building once known as the “pump house”. The pump house is one of the original buildings on the property at the time it was purchased by Mother Cabrini. The museum features a replica of Mother Cabrini’s bedroom, a timeline of her life and many artifacts once used by Saint Cabrini.
Located on the first floor of the main building, our Gift Shop is filled with religious merchandise and mementos of your visit to the Shrine. Candles that can be lit in our Grotto Chapel are also available for purchase in the gift shop.
A replica of the grotto at Lourdes, France, was originally built over the spring in 1929 and was demolished and replaced in 1959 by the present one, built of sandstone. Here, in the quiet atmosphere of candlelight before the Mother Cabrini altar, many come to pray and ask her intercession with the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Mother. People present their many requests and, through faith, say their prayers are answered.
Heart of Stones
In 1912, on Mother Cabrini’s last visit to Golden, Colorado, she took a group of sisters and a few children from the orphanage by horse and buggy to the highest hill. This is where she arranged white stones in the shape of a Heart surmounted by a cross, dedicating the hill to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The image is still present today at the top of the Stairway of Prayer beneath a glass case preserved for all to see.
The chapel, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was completed in June of 1970. Mass is offered daily and the chapel is open to the public seven days a week.
Our Meditation Walk is a peaceful place of reflection that allows visitors, pilgrims and tourists time to be in the company of their thoughts and pray for their personal intentions.
Our walking Rosary Garden and its beautiful landscaping invites visitors in to walk and pray the rosary in the splendor that Mother Cabrini envisioned when she purchased this property in 1909.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue
In 1954, a twenty-two foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, carved by an Italian artist was mounted on an eleven foot base and erected above the Heart of Stones at the top of the mountain. This statue signifies the great devotion Mother Cabrini had to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, even naming her order of Sisters in His honor. Today, the statue stands as a beacon of faith overlooking the city of Denver and is a well know landmark in the Golden, Colorado.
Stained Glass Windows
The beautiful stained-glass windows just off the main chapel, depict Mother Cabrini’s life, her birth, her confirmation, her missionary vocation, the founding of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, her meeting with Pope Leo the XIII, her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the voyage to America, working with Italian immigrants, crossing the Andes, Mother Cabrini’s death, her miraculous cure of infant Peter Smith and her canonization to sainthood. The windows originally came from Villa Cabrini in Burbank, California, which was a school formerly sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Stairway of Prayer
Beginning September 11, 1954, 373 steps leading up to the top of the Mount of the Sacred Heart were placed and completed in just 67 days. The stairway follows the path Mother Cabrini, the sisters and the children took to the top of the mountain. This stairway following the Saint’s footsteps is also symbolic of the pathway Christ took on His sorrowful way to His crucifixion and death, through the Stations of the Cross. Each station is made of stone mosaics made in Italy and depicts the suffering of Jesus as He gave His life for our salvation. Mary, through the mysteries of the rosary, invites the faithful to continue the journey begun with the Stations of the Cross reminding us through recitation and meditation on important events in the life of her Son, each mystery brings us closer to the Heart of Christ. In 1955 the Knights of Columbus placed terra cotta benches along the stairway, thus allowing pilgrims to rest, pray and meditate. At the entrance to the stairway is a large crucifix.
The only water on this property was in a small pond next to the spring house. All of the water needed for drinking and cooking had to be brought up to the summer camp from the stream at the bottom of Mt. Vernon Canyon. In September 1912, the sisters complained to Mother Cabrini that they were dying of thirst and there was no water to be had. She answered, “Lift that rock over there and start to dig. You will find water fresh enough to drink and clean enough to wash.” The spring, which is housed in an 8,000 gallon tank, has never stopped running. Many pilgrims, through their faith, believe the water has brought healing and peace to their lives.