The Remembrances of the Saints
The National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics was founded in 1875 when Father J.M. Gartner entrusted his collection of relics to the Sisters at Maria Stein.
Housed in a beautiful chapel built in 1892, the collection, with over 1000 relics on display, represents the second largest collection of its type in the United States (after St. Anthony’s Chapel in Pittsburg). The Shrine was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The primary display of relics is in an altar that was hand-carved especially for this purpose. Four beautiful stained-glass windows imported from Munich, Germany and hand- carved woodwork also adorn the Relic Chapel.
A Ministry of Service
The Maria Stein Heritage Museum and the National Marian Shrine of the Holy Relics serve as the focal point for the history of the Roman Catholic Church and the early settlers to America’s original frontier.
Owned and operated by The Sisters of the Precious Blood, the Museum and the Shrine exist as a part of the Sisters’ overall ministry of service to the community.
Preserving a Culture for Future Generations
The Maria Stein Heritage Museum opened in 1982 and is designed to interpret the early settlement of southern Auglaize and Mercer counties in Ohio.
Settlers to this area were largely of German descent and of the Roman Catholic faith. The displays in the museum reflect their way of life in the mid to late nineteenth century.
Special attention is given to the history of the Sisters of the Precious Blood and their contribution to the cultural development of these early pioneers.
A Research Tool for Scholars
The museum is located on the second floor of the former convent building at Maria Stein Center. This structure was placed on the National register of Historic Places in 1979 as part of The Land of Cross-Tipped Churches of Ohio.
The Maria Stein Heritage Museum serves as a research tool for scholars and educators. Students from Wright State University, The University of Dayton, and Capitol University have conducted research in various fields of study.
The museum’s genealogical, cultural, and architectural history is of interest to visitors from throughout the world.
In addition to the permanent displays, the Maria Stein Heritage Museum features exhibits which change annually.
A few examples of these expositions include: early homes of the region, lace making, presentations by local artists and craftspeople, and a quilt collection.
Such exhibitions make each visit to the Maria Stein Heritage Museum a new and exciting experience.