St. Margaret Shrine.
Called the "Oasis for Prayer in Connecticut," the St. Margaret Shrine in Bridgeport is designated as The Diocesan Shrine, meaning that it is not supported by any one parish but rather is a gift to the people of the Diocese of Bridgeport given to them by the Bishop of Bridgeport, Most Reverend William Lori in 2012.
St. Margaret Shrine has its origin in 1941 when the Pastor of St. Raphael Church in downtown Bridgeport saw a need for a satellite chapel for his parishioners living in the northern end of town. With assistance and support of the city's Italian community, a small chapel named for St. Margaret of Antioch was built and dedicated on September 20, 1942. St. Margaret of Antioch is known as one of the "14 Holy Helpers" and was frequently petitioned in prayer during the Middle Ages. Her voice is one of the saintly voices who guided St. Joan of Arc in her endeavors. She is the patron saint of women and childbirth; her feast day is July 20.
With the outbreak of World War II, St. Margaret Chapel was established as a monument of peace and adjacent land was purchased to erect additional statues and chapels for individuals to pray for those serving their country and those who had given their lives during the war.
The ledge of this new property inspired a grotto-like area, which became a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes. This was the beginning of many shrines in the property that honor saints from around the world, including those from Mexico, Cuba, Vietnam, Portugal, and Italy. The property now offers visitors beautiful landscaped water pools, stone pathways, gentle hillsides, and picturesque bridges. You can even visit a replica of the Garden of Gethsemane!
Consult the St. Margaret Shrine website for more information, hours, and possible restrictions. Click here for directions from Madison.