Saint Anthony Chapel, Pittsburgh

4.9
#5 of 9 in Historic Sites in Pittsburgh
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.
Our Pittsburgh travel planner makes visiting Saint Anthony Chapel and other Pittsburgh attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
Source
Create an itinerary including Saint Anthony Chapel
map
Saint Anthony Chapel Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
125 reviews
Google
5.0
TripAdvisor
  • Want to see saint bones? This is the place. Lots of relics. Full skulls. A little creepy for me, but others in our group thought it was great.  more »
  • Found out about this place from my sister in law. We were in town visiting and she thought we would be interested in vieWing the relics. It's interesting that we lived here for 30 years and never knew...  more »
  • Hidden in the older area of the city is St. Anthony's Chapel. The moment we entered the chapel, we can feel the atmosphere of sacredness, of calm and peace. The life-sized Station of the Cross was ama...  more »
Google
  • A fantastic bit of history, with the world's second largest collection of relics.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • This church is incredible..words cannot describe the feeling you get when stepping into it ♡

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.

Where to stay in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's downtown area is so packed with hotels it is often possible to get top rooms here at bargain prices. Bear in mind that most visitors to Pittsburgh want to stay in this central part of town, so you do need to look for discounts early and book well in advance. If you're visiting universities or other attractions outside of Pittsburgh itself, you can find comfortable airport accommodations just west of the city. Consider also the college neighborhood of Oakland, offering some of the least expensive rooms in Pittsburgh.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Pittsburgh by other users

3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, museums, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM MEXICO December, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Pittsburgh BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans