The Shrine of Our Lady
The Sanctuary of Our Lady, of Fourvière, Mother of the Light, is a place of pilgrimage where all are welcome to enjoy the beauty of God's creation. At the Sanctuary there is a beautiful Marian Shrine, the "12 Stars" Pilgrim Shelter, where you can enjoy a picnic with an espresso coffee, an educational Mission Heritage trail, our retreat house, gift shop and beautiful Chapel. This is a living Sanctuary and is home to the monastery of the Community of the Beatitudes, who live a beautiful life of prayer and witness to the Gospel.
This beautiful educational and reflective trail around Mary's Garden traces the history of the mission of the Church from the earliest centuries through the first missionaries to Oceania and on to a new evangelisation. A wonderful experience for all the family.
Mother of the Light
Opened on the 7th of December 2019, The Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of the Light is a place of pilgrimage where all are welcome to enjoy the beauty of God's creation.
Visit the Shrine of Our Lady
Fourvière is a haven of silence and beauty that allows one to leave a world lost in artificial connections in order to reconnect with the self, others and God.
Come to visit this Living Marian Shrine with the beautiful replica of the golden statue of Our Lady. The original, stands above the Basilica in Fourvière, Lyon, France. The first missionaries to Oceania, including Saint Peter Chanel (patron Saint of New Zealand), Bishop Pompallier (New Zealand's first Bishop) and the Venerable Mother Suzanne Aubert, all went to pledge themselves and consecrate their missions to Our Heavenly Mother, at Fourvière, before embarking on their voyages to the Pacific to bring the Gospel of Jesus to our land.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fourvière is a place for pilgrims to come from near and far.
Various walks and trails are being developed for pilgrims to stroll in the beauty of nature, whilst contemplating things divine. Walks onsite will soon include trails focused on the history of the New Zealand mission, the rosary, the stations of the cross, the beatitudes and more.
From time to time, the Sanctuary will organise pilgrimages to other places, including Akaroa (the site of the first Mass in the Christchurch Diocese), Motuti and Totara Point (the site of the first Mass in Aotearoa), Jerusalem (where Mother Aubert established her Māori mission), Lyon (the home of Our Lady of Fourvière) and other holy places both in New Zealand and overseas. Let us know if you are interested in joining us in pilgrimage.
The Prayer to Our Lady
The Twelve Stars
which offers a place of rest and refreshment for body and soul, with a beautiful view to the Shrine and an extended indoor and outdoor picnic area. (12 Stars is opening soon - in September 2020).
Catholic resources & gifts shop
The shop has a range of Catholic gifts for all occasions, including First Communion, Baptism, Confirmation and more. Our carefully selected range of Catholic and Christian books, statues, crafts and cards will inspire you in faith and formation and enhance your home, library or office with a touch of the divine.
The Beatitudes Gift Shop
Te Ara o te Marama
The Way of the Light
Mission Heritage trail
On the 25th of July, we had the pleasure to welcome brothers and sisters from various marian congregations.
They came to commemorate the Pledge made to Our Lady of Fourviere in Lyon, France by the first Marists missionaries who travelled to Oceania and New Zealand.
We praise God for the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary, the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, the Marist brothers and the Marist Priests, the Marist Laity and the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary.
We give thanks for their presence here in New Zealand and all the work they do for Christ and His Church.
We entrust to the Lord our ongoing efforts to valorize the history of the catholic mission to New Zealand and spread devotion to Our Holy Mother.
We have before us a very special opportunity to make the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fourvière a place that will inspire a new evangelisation for the people of the Diocese of Christchurch and beyond.
Strongly linked to the deepest roots of Christianity in New Zealand, the Sanctuary of Fourvière has a mission to tell the story of how Jesus has chosen to reveal Himself to the people of Aotearoa and the Pacific – It is a story of many who, inspired by Mary, called by Jesus and moved by the Holy Spirit, took up the challenge to bring the light of Christ to the people of their time – and it is a story that we hope will inspire many more to bring the light of Christ to their friends, families and communities in our own times.
We intend to create a trail through the beautiful grounds of the Sanctuary of Fourvière. Using educational panels, displays, statues, photographs, items of historical significance and art, the trail will lead visitors through the history of the mission of the Church, and invite them to pledge themselves to Mary and Jesus and prepare to bring the light to the mission fields of their own lives.
The “Te ara o te Marama” –Mission Heritage Trail will have the following features:
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fourvière – a place to encounter Mary and be invited to make a pledge to her as did the first missionaries before heading out on mission.
A carved structure honouring Bishop Pompallier and his work throughout the country.
Areas dedicated to the stories of the Venerable Suzanne Aubert, Saint Peter Chanel, and other pioneers of the mission of the Church in our region.
Links to the many holy places around Aotearoa where the faith first began to grow and flourish (including Motuti and Totara Point in the far North, Jerusalem on the shores of the Whanganui River, Akaroa in our very own diocese, and more)
An area dedicated to the story of the growth of the Church in the Christchurch Diocese, including the first Mass at Akaroa, the Bishops of Christchurch, the construction of the first (and eventually the new) Cathedral, the effects of the devastating earthquakes and our focus on a new evangelisation.
The trail will also celebrate the small, yet very special historical churches of North Canterbury and highlight each one in a special way.
The trail will honour the place Māori hold as the first people of Aotearoa and acknowledge the many ‘sons and daughters of France’ who were moved by Our Lady to bring the Light of Jesus to Aotearoa.
In this way, the Sanctuary of Fourvière will provide an exhilarating experience to many that will inform and inspire sons and daughters of a new evangelisation to be bearers of the light!
1. Start ( 1 large Panel) This will outline the idea of the trail and show a map with the intended directions and various stops on the trail.
2. Fourvière Lyon (1 Panel) This will give the History of the Church in Fourvière Lyon, including the 1st French Martyrs and the first Bishops. The fact that Mary was honoured from the earliest centuries and the various Saints and missionary orders that flowed from Fourvière.
3. The Fourvère Pledge (1 large panel). This will give the history of the pledge and contain a version of it for people to pledge themselves to the heart of Mary.
4. The Whare of Pompallier (1 panel) This will honour the Māori mission and the role of Pompallier in that mission. It will be of Māori design and contain motifs from local tribes and from areas where Pompallier’s mission was significant.
5. Pompallier’s Whakapapa (1 panel) This will include a large preproduction of the tree of Pompallier and be situated near a tree of similar standing.
6. Ven Suzanne Aubert (St to be of NZ) This will tell the story of the missions of the Ven Suzanne Aubert who did work with Māori in Whanganui and with the colonial settlers in Wellington.
7. St Peter Chanel (St of Oceania) This will outline the mission efforts of St Peter Chanel (Oceania’s first matyr) and tell his story on the islands of Wallace and Fortuna.
8. The Society of Mary
- Marcelin Champagnat (Marist brothers)
- Jean Claude Collin (Marist Fathers & Founder of the Society of Mary)
- Jeanne Marie Chavoin (Marist Sisters)
- Françoise Perroton (The Missionary Sisters of The Society of Mary SMSM)
9. The sons and daughters of France
- St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (St Patroness of the Missions)
- Jean Vianney, St Curé of Ars
- Claudine Thevenet, the founder of the Religieous of Jesus and Mary (Fourvière 1820)
- Frederic Ozanam of Lyon, the founder of the SVP Society
10. The Sacred Heart (1 panel)
11. The New Zealand Mission This will tell the stories of the main NZ missions that were linked to Fourvière.
- Euphrasie Barbier (Our Lady of the Mission)
- Fr Garin Antoine
- Fr McHardy
12. TThe Holy Places in Aotearoa This is a continuation of the stories in part 8 above.
13. The Establishment of the Christchurch Diocese (4 panels) This will show the development of the Christchurch Diocese, including the line of Bishops, the building of the Cathedral, the earthquakes and the rebuild.
14. The Establishment of the Historical Churches of North Canterbury. (4 panels) This will celebrate the history and life of the churches of the Hurunui.
15. The Beatitudes (8 panels) These will be the Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew. Here there is a focus on developing a life of prayer and living of true charity.
16. The Cross (1 panel)
17. The Resurrection (1 panel)
18. The New Evangelisation (2 Panels) These panels point to the call of Christ to be bearers of the Light in our own families and communities.
19. The Community of the Beatitudes (4 to 6 panels) These panels will be housed inside the 12 Stars pilgrim shelter and celebrate the life and special charism of the Beatitudes Community (both internationally and here in New Zealand).