In history, a shrine is a symbol in a holy place. It may be a box-shaped repository in which relics of a saint are preserved; or the sacred image or statue of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, or a saint in church or at home to which special devotion is given. But, mainly shrines are prominent sacred localities. They may be the burial place of a saint, or where he or she lived or died, or where a heavenly apparition took place. Shrines are the focuses of pilgrimages by the faithful and often of miraculous phenomena approved by the Church as defined by the Catholic Culture.
From time immemorial, people have set aside places that have deep spiritual significance—where God is revealed, honored and worshipped. In the book of Genesis, Jacob describes such a special place in the following way: “How awesome is this shrine! This is nothing but an abode of God and that is the gateway to heaven” (Gen. 28:17).
Shrines within the 160 acres of Gate of Heaven Cemetery are visual reminders and connections to those to whom we can turn to for intercession. They also allow a heightened sense of being and a powerful relationship with the divine. Every shrine at Gate of Heaven has a definite purpose. Everyone one of them has God’s message to us at His sacred dwelling place.