Shrine profile – National Shrine of St. Odilia

Crosier Father Kermit Holl offers the ritual blessing with the relic of St. Odilia at a healing Mass in Onamia. Photo courtesy of the Crosiers

Pope Francis declared an Extraordinary Year of Mercy, which began Dec. 8, 2015, and ends Nov. 20, 2016. Bishop Donald Kettler has designated places of pilgrimage and shrines within the St. Cloud Diocese for this Holy Year, inviting the faithful to experience grace and reconciliation as they rediscover joy in the mercy of God. A “Pilgrimage Passport” to encourage people to participate in this jubilee was introduced in the Dec. 18 issue of The Visitor. The passport may also be found at Click on “Pilgrimage Passport.”

odilia-stampThis is the second profile of the five shrines to be featured. This series began with the St. Cloud Shrine at St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Jan. 15 edition.
National Shrine of St. Odilia

Where is it?

In 1952, a major relic of St. Odilia was brought to the Crosier Priory in Onamia, and the National Shrine of St. Odilia was established. The Crosier Fathers and Brothers in Onamia have been guardians of the shrine since 1952, located in Holy Cross Priory Church at 104 Crosier Drive North, Onamia.

What will you see?

There are three “stations” in the national shrine:

  • The religious icon of St. Odilia and two of her relics help pilgrims “look through” the icon designed as a window into heaven and pause for prayer in the presence of the relics.
  • The stained glass windows tell the story of St. Odilia’s life: her martyrdom, her appearance to Brother John Novelan and the Crosiers and how the story of this saint and the history of the Crosiers became entwined.
  • The altar reliquary is a replica of the original one in Belgium that honors St. Odilia’s memory and remains.

Who was St. Odilia?

About the year 300, St. Odilia and 10 other young women, including St. Ursula, set out from England on a pilgrimage to the East. By accident or plan, their ship went up the Rhine, where they were captured by Huns and taken to Cologne, where they were martyred defending their faith and their chastity.
St. Odilia has been the patron saint of the Crosier Fathers and Brothers since 1287, when she appeared to Brother John, a member of the Crosier priory in Paris. She appeared to him three times, then led him to her place of burial in Cologne, Germany, and directed that her relics be taken to the motherhouse of the Crosier Order in Huy, Belgium. Along the journey, numerous healing miracles of the eyes were reported as people came in contact with the relics.

What to do while you are there:

Pass through the Holy Doors at the main entrance, pray at the national shrine and/or attend Mass and/or the Liturgy of the Hours. For information about obtaining the jubilee indulgence, see the Jan. 15 issue of the Visitor or visit:

•  Hours to visit: Daily between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The Crosiers request that arrangements be made in advance for parish groups and organizations making pilgrimages.

•  Masses celebrated at the National Shrine of St. Odilia: Sunday, 9:30 a.m.; weekdays, 8 a.m. (except Wednesday); Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Many cures, especially of diseases of the eyes, are obtained through her intercession. Healing Masses during 2016 will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on the Sundays of March 6, July 12 and Dec. 13. The ritual blessing with the relic of St. Odilia is offered at healing Masses or through special arrangement by calling the Crosier Priory.

• Liturgy of the Hours prayed at the National Shrine of St. Odilia:

Sunday: Lauds (8:45 a.m.), Midday (11:50 a.m.), Vespers (5 p.m.), Compline (9 p.m.)
Weekday: Lauds (7:30 a.m.), Midday (11:50 a.m.), Vespers (5 p.m. except Wednesday), Compline (9 p.m.)
Saturday: Lauds (7:30 a.m.), Midday (11:50 a.m.), Vespers (7:30 p.m.)

• Novena and blessing with the relic of St. Odilia:

Novenas in honor of St. Odilia are prayed twice a month, beginning on the 5th and 17th, and the national novena begins on July 10 and ends on St. Odilia’s feast day, July 18.

The Crosier Fathers and Brothers welcome prayer intentions, which may be mailed to the National Shrine of St. Odilia, P.O. Box 500, Onamia, MN 56359. For more information call the Crosier Priory at 320-532-3103, or visit their website at


Author: The Visitor

The Visitor is the official newpaper for the Diocese of Saint Cloud.