Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America


This past weekend I decided to get off my rear and start hiking again.  A good friend suggested that I should visit the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.  I could not have picked a better place to restart my blog and share a bit of local history.  The Monastery is an absolute gem.  I felt as if I was in a cathedral in Europe.  However, before I continue to discuss the beauty of the Monastery I should talk about it’s history and significance.

The church was built in the late 1890’s and the Franciscan order is responsible for the care of the church and monastery.  Friar Vassani and Friar Godfrey Schilling had a vision of creating a “Holy Land in America” so they purchased the McCeeney Estate in Brookland, near Washington, D.C. in order to fulfill their dream.  Friar Schilling hired the well-known architect, Aristide Leonori (1856 – 1928) for the job.  Leonori visited the Holy Land and took accurate measurements of the holy sites Friar Shilling and Friar Godfrey wanted duplicated in Washington, D.C.  Their mission was to recreate the sacred shrines of the Franciscan Monastery in the Holy Land in order to motivate pilgrims to make the journey to D.C. who other wise could not travel the long distance to the Holy Land.

Garden and Chapel

Garden I highly recommend visiting the Franciscan Monastery if you are in the Washington, D.C. area.  Tours are given daily.

Monday – Saturday:  10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

Sunday:  1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.

Admission is free.

Church and Templar Flag

I recommend arriving early so you can walk around the gardens (which are beautiful).  On the weekend there are many local vendors selling plants, flowers, and food.


Please provide feedback if you have visited the church and monastery.  I am looking forward to hearing from you!


Copyright 2013 TORO Media, LLC

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