Florida Guide > Florida History
The Shrine dedicated to Mary, Queen of the Universe was built as a place of worship for the 5 million Catholic tourists who come to Orlando annually. The Shrine provides the opportunity for worship, teaching and witness.
This Central Florida tourist ministry began years ago with folding chairs and makeshift altars offering Catholic church services in hotel conference rooms! The number of visitors increased over the years and through the support of the late Pope John Paul II, and the generous contributions of the many faithful visitors, the Shrine became what it is today.
The 22-acre complex is comprised of several areas. The main feature is a 2, 000 seat Shrine Church where a full schedule of daily and weekend masses are celebrated. A priest is also available every day to hear confessions or for counseling. This Church is unique in that it is not a part of a parish with a wealth of members to support its ministry. This entire facility was developed and continues to thrive on the donations of the tourists and locals who come to tour the facility or worship there. Also part of the Shrine is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, a beautiful sanctuary that invites worshippers to reflect and pray in a tranquil setting with the Lord of the Eucharist. There is also an outdoor chapel featuring a stunning bronze sculpture of Mary and Jesus.
A very unique area of the Shrine is the Rosary Garden with walkways amid trees and landscaping in the shape of the Rosary. The complex also includes outdoor stations of the cross, a multi-media theater that is used for evangelization, a museum which houses historic Catholic art from the United States and also from around the world and a gift shop which sells religious articles.
Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine is located at 8300 Vineland Avenue in Orlando. We had the opportunity to attend mass there on New Year’s Eve to satisfy our Holy Day obligation. The church is beautiful of a modern style but with the traditional icons and gorgeous stained glass windows. The parking lot is a bit of distance from the front doors of the church, but there is a small parking lot on the side for handicapped visitors and drop-offs are permitted here as well. For a current mass schedule and/or to find out the current museum and gift shop hours of operation, you can call the Shrine at 407-239-6600.
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Page added on: 20 August 2009
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