Trip Planner:   USA  /  Pennsylvania  /  Pittsburgh  /  Historic Sites  /  Saint Anthony Chapel

Saint Anthony Chapel, Pittsburgh

(110+ reviews on the web)
Church Tourist Spot
Saint Anthony Chapel is home to the largest collection of publicly venerable Christian relics – 5,000 in total – in the world outside of the Vatican.

The chapel and its relics were the personal property of Suitbert Goedfried Mollinger (1828-1892), a Belgian-born royal/physician-turned-priest who gained an international reputation as a source of hope and healing. While practicing medicine in his twenties, Mollinger discerned a vocational calling to the priesthood. As a seminarian, he left Europe to serve as a missionary in the United States, where he would later be ordained and eventually settle in what is today known as the Troy Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Due to his personal financial standing – and, let’s face it, the Holy Spirit – Fr. Mollinger was in a position to ransom a large number of relics that were both suddenly and unfortunately available on the open market as a result of political and cultural upheavals throughout Europe during the mid-to-late 1800s. To house the relics, Fr. Mollinger singlehandedly financed the chapel’s construction, which was built in two phases: the original chapel, also known as the “The Shrine of the Saints” because it houses nearly the entirety of Fr. Mollinger’s relic collection, was dedicated in 1883, while the chapel’s annex, also known as “The Way of the Cross" because it houses the chapel’s life-size wooden statues of the Stations of the Cross, was dedicated in 1892; Fr. Mollinger ensured that dedication of each phase would occur on June 13, the feast day of the chapel’s patron, St. Anthony of Padua.

In addition to his duty as pastor of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, which is located across the street from the chapel, Fr. Mollinger leveraged his training as a medical doctor to tend to the physical needs of his congregation, as well as anyone else who sought his attention. He fashioned a clinic out of a room of his rectory, in which he would see and treat over 100 patients on a given day; he refused to accept payment for his services. After tending to the patient’s physical needs, Fr. Mollinger would pray over the patient, touching his or her body with a relic from his collection. Additionally, his healing services, which were typically held on the Feast of St. Anthony, drew tens of thousands of pilgrims from across North America and beyond.

It is believed that during his time on Troy Hill, Fr. Mollinger treated over 325,000 patients and wrote over 80,000 prescriptions. Many of his patients claimed the be the recipients of miraculous healings; in fact, over 300 canes, crutches, and other walking apparatuses were found in and around the chapel, presumably left there by people who, upon being seen by Fr. Mollinger, no longer had need for them.

Fr. Mollinger fell gravely ill on June 13, 1892, the day of the chapel’s rededication, and died two days later in his rectory.

The chapel, its founder, and its treasures serve as tangible proof of the truly amazing things that God can do through even just one of us.
Before you head to Pittsburgh, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Pittsburgh tourist route planner, to make sure you see all that Pittsburgh has to offer, including Saint Anthony Chapel.
Source
Create a full Pittsburgh itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Pittsburgh

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Pittsburgh by other users

6 days in Pennsylvania BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Washington DC, Philadelphia & Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM ITALY August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Pittsburgh & Washington DC BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Pittsburgh, Elysburg & Hershey BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Hiltons, Pennsylvania & Niagara Falls BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful place to visit! Inspiring displays of heroes! Very peaceful and enjoyable experience. You could spend hours and hours in there and enjoy every bit of it. Ramp for the handicap available. Ver...  more »
  • Interesting Catholic Church. 6,000 relics purchase by a priest in the late 1800s. Go for the tour 1pm to 4pm. The docent did a great job talking about the history of the church and sharing stories of ...  more »
  • Took a tour of the chapel and saw the relics contained therein. The architecture and stained glass windows were marvelous. The relics, I have to say, were a little bit of a let-down. Not a disappointm...  more »
Google
  • Nice Church, lots of relics that belonged to saints. No pictures though, and you will need a guide since there are no displays that explain the artifacts.
  • One of America's most well hidden gems. St. Anthony's Chapel has over 5,200 Holy Relics, including pieces of the Crown of Thorns, the Holy Cross, and the table at which the Last Supper was held. Second only to the Vatican in collection of Holy Relics, you would be doing yourself a great favor in visiting this chapel once. There are tours constantly. Visit the gift shop across the street.
  • This church is incredible..words cannot describe the feeling you get when stepping into it ♡
  • Wow. As soon as I stepped foot in the chapel an enormous amount of tranquility came over me. I'm not particularly religious, and originally came here to do a story on the place; It was kindof disappointing that the story flopped due to their no photo/video policy and I wasn't able to visually share this greatness with others, but it was definitely understandable considering the peace of the atmosphere alone. It's something you can only appreciate first hand. I walked in and marveled at the relics, listened to the tour, and then sat in complete silence and peace for a good 45 minutes, and it was the best moment of silence I've ever had. I consider this one of Pittsburgh's most precious hidden gems.
  • Simple exterior, extraordinary inside. The story behind the priest, his he came across the relics, the relics themselves - everything is just amazing. There are life size wooden statues of the Stations created from wood from Bavaria - the best. Please note, that they do ask that you do not take pictures or videos. Apparently some people find it irresistible to do so, but please be respectful and do not take pictures or videos, no matter how tempting it is especially when facing first class relics from Jesus, St. Mary, St. Joseph, and the Apostles among others.