The Shrine of the True Cross in Dickinson, Texas, is the diocesan shrine
of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
. The Shrine is a sacred place of pilgrimage, a special place to draw closer to God through prayer, reflection, and devotion to the Cross of Christ.
What is a shrine?
From time immemorial, people have set aside places that have deep spiritual significance -- where God is revealed, honored and worshipped. In the book of Genesis, Jacob describes such a special place in the following way:
"How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing but an abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven."
- Genesis 28:17
The Ark of the Covenant was enshrined in a temple and therefore Jerusalem became the most honored Shrine and place of pilgrimage. In the New Testament, places connected with Jesus' Birth, Crucifixion and Death have become the most holy sites of devotional pilgrimage. Places which were associated with the lives of the Saints acquired devotional significance. In our Judeo-Christian tradition, a shrine is considered a place where divine grace is manifested in a very special way - a place where the human and divine world intersect.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law (cc. 1230-1234
) outlines the requirements for shrines. Canon 1230
specifically states, "The term shrine signifies a church or other sacred place to which the faithful make pilgrimages for a particular pious reason with the approval of the local ordinary." The distinguishing mark of a shrine is that it is a place to which the faithful make pilgrimages.
Indulgences attached to visiting the Shrine
From the Manual of Indulgences: Norms and Grants
(USCCB, 2006), translated into English from the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum: Normae et Concessiones
, fourth edition (Vatican, 1999):
A plenary indulgence
is granted to the faithful who visit, and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed, an international, national, or diocesan shrine established by competent authority
on the solemnity of its Titular [for the Shrine of the True Cross, the titular feast day is September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross]
once a year, on a day chosen by the Christian faithful
as often as they assist in a group pilgrimage visiting the shrine
To gain a plenary indulgence with the indulgenced works of piety and religion by pilgrimage listed above,it is necessary to have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin, and to fulfill the normal conditions - sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Holy Father - most appropriately on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed, or as soon as possible before or after the pious work, if circumstances do not allow for the same day.
Other Shrines in Texas
A listing of other Catholic shrines in the state of Texas:
Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle - National Shrine, San Juan, Texas
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, San Antonio, Texas
Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Dallas, Texas
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Shrine, Midland, Texas
Shrine of St. Padre Pio, San Antonio, Texas