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LOCATED IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO, is a very special place of artistic beauty, culture and historical significance, and spiritual renewal. Called the "Third City of the Immaculate" (after Niepokalanów, Poland and Nagasaki, Japan), it is a ministry of the Conventual Franciscan Friars of St. Bonaventure Province.  

MARYTOWN IS HOME TO PRIESTS AND BROTHERS—called friars—of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual founded by St. Francis of Assisi more than 800 years ago.

HERE AT MARYTOWN THE FRIARS live out their religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience according to the ideals of St. Francis. They live together in community  and daily celebrate the Eucharist in Holy Mass, pray the Divine Office, adore the Blessed Sacrament and participate in the devotions of the Liturgical year. 

This Chapel is open to the public 24 hours a days, seven days a week, for Eucharistic Adoration. 

CELEBRATING HOLY MASS TWICE DAILY and praying the Liturgy of the Hours with the public four times daily. Marytown serves the spiritual needs of a broad community of people—locally and nationally—trough our Adoration apostolate, daily Masses, frequent confession schedule, catechesis and spiritual retreats. 

AT THE VERY HEART OF MARYTOWN IS OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT CHAPEL,considered on the most beautiful pilgrimage sites in the United States. The Chapel has been a sanctuary of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament since 1928.

Adoration of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament has been ongoing here—day and night—since 1928. 

MARYTOWN IS THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF SAINT MAXIMILIAN KOLBE as decreed by the U.S. Catholic Bishops in the Jubilee Year 2000. Here the memory of St. Maximilian is kept alive by the spirituality of the Friars and the member of the Militia of the Immaculata (MI). 

MARYTOWN FRIARS HAVE ADDED THE SPIRIT OF ST. FRANCIS (ASSISI) TO THE CHAPEL. Most prominent is our San Damiano Crucifix, patterned after the original in Assisi, Italy, where the Lord famously commissioned St. Francis to "Rebuild My Church." 


OUR LADY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT CHAPEL was commissioned before the 1926 International Eucharistic Congress in Chicago. Chicago's Cardinal Mundelein felt a permanent sanctuary of Eucharistic Adoration should be established to pray for seminarians and priestly vocations. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration resided and prayed here for fifty years until 1978, when the Friars began our ministry here. 

"And they shall make me a sanctuary and I will dwell in the midst of them." —Exodus 25:8


The chapel is patterned after the patriarchal basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome. The chapel's stained glass, mosaics, and marble work have been invested with a spiritual symbolism that expresses the richness of the Catholic traditions. 


The national shrine is a place of pilgrimage for the faithful and is dedicated to promoting the witness and life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Conventual Franciscan  friar, priest, scholar and patriot martyred at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II

"THE PURPOSE OF MARYTOWN is to win souls for the Immaculata, and through her, for the most Sacred Heart of Jesus... This is the realization and purpose of the MI!" 

†St. Maximilian M. Kolbe 


St. John Paul II referred to him as the "prophet of the ciliation of love" and a "Martyr of Charity" for Kolbe's exemplification of love without limits. Kolbe dedicated his life to promoting consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a way to draw nearer to the heart and will of Christ. St. Maximilian is the patron saint of families, the profile/right to life movement, journalists,

communications and media. prisoners, and of those who suffer alcohol or drug addictions or eating disorders. 

The National Shrines includes the Shrine Chapel, the ministries of the MI spiritual center, and educational Holocaust exhibit, and the relics of St. Maximilian.


Unique among Franciscan friaries in the United States, Marytown has in year past been the National Office/Center of the Militia of the Immaculata, a global evangelization movement founded by St. Maximilian in 1917 and canonically established as an international public association of the faithful under the Holy See. Marytown is the spiritual home for MI members throughout the United States. Marytown's Franciscans have been blessed with this particular mission of promoting total consecration since the Friary's founding in 1948 (seven years after St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, OFM Conv., martyrdom).

MARYTOWN'S RETREAT CENTER is an oasis of quiet contemplation. It's an ideal place to leave behind and stress and busyness of everyday life and to become spiritually renewed. The Retreat Center offers 30 comfortable rooms (single or double occupancy) with private baths. There are full dining facilities, ample meeting space library and


private chapel. The Marytown Retreat Center is available for personal retreats with overnight status at affordable rates on weekends and reduces rates on weekdays. Spiritual direction and confessions can be arranged through the Friars. Organized retreat groups of various sizes can be accom-modated for overnight, weekday and weekend visits, conference meetings. 

"How many people have gone to a shrine . . .and returned transformed" †St. John Paul II 


of the historic chapel and complex. These are especially attractive for senior, youth and church groups, as well as school trips. Sample itineraries are available. 

Find strength and inspiration on a retreat as Marytown! Call for rates and availability. Visit the website for upcoming days of recollection, spiritual talks and other events. 

To Schedule a retreat or group pilgrimage, call the Retreat Center at (847) 367-7800 ext. 225.


MARYTOWN'S GIFT SHOP AND BOOKSTORE boasts a huge selection of Catholic religious items and books. Offering a large array of children's books and gifts for the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, Confirm-ation,  & preparation for Holy Orders, Matrimony— rosaries, medals, statues, candles and other items. Visit the store for the perfect gift for weddings, births and every occasion, 

from sacred art and icons to music CDs and inspiring films on DVD. Whatever you need, we have the perfect faith-filled gift for you! Always open online at

Browse a wide selection of Bibles and Catholic study aids, as well as books that enlighten the mind on Catholic teaching, spirituality, prayers, saints and much more. Marytown Press publishes titles on St. Maximilian Kolbe, Marian issues, and Franciscan spirituality, with discounts to resellers and religious organizations. Marytown Press is a number one source for original titles on Fr. Kolbe, the "Apostle of Our Difficult Age," and the only distributor in the Americas of the English edition of the complete writings of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe. 

"[Shrines] reveal  the fullness of the paschal mystery, communion with the universal Church, and the presence of Mary in word and symbol." †St. John Paul II 

THE LIFE OF MARYTOWN is rooted in prayer, community life, the liturgies and the Eucharist. The Friars share in St. Francis' missionary zeal throug

  • Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

  • Chapel open 24 hours a day, year-round for public prayer and Adoration

  • Holy Masses and Divine Office

  • National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe and Holocaust Education Exhibit 

  • Pilgrimages, retreats, and personal days of recollection

  • Outreaches to the needy

  • Lovely outdoor gardens with Rosary walk

  • Marytown Press and Media Apostolate

  • Shrine Choir and Schola

"At Shrines, more abundant means of salvation are to be provided to the faithful; the word of God is to be carefully proclaimed; liturgical life is to be appropriately fostered especially  through the celebra-tion of the Eucharist and Penance; and approved forms of popular piety are to be cultivated." –Code of Canon Law 1234 

Through God's grace, Marytown has become one of the most vibrant centers of Catholic renewal in the United States. 


Support this Catholic mission...

Chapel Preservation: Please consider a monthly recurring or one-time gift to the National Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe at Marytown to ensure our ongoing mission.

Rosary Garden Restoration: New project that will benefit all who visit Marytown, especially those who stay for a spiritual retreat. Help to restore the future of the beautiful artwork of each
Mystery of the Rosary for many years to come. 

St. Anthony Holy Mass League: Intentions are remembered daily in this perpetual Mass league. A card and personalized Saint Anthony Novena folder will be given at the time of enrollment as an ongoing remembrance. 

Flowers for the Chapel: Select monthly recurring or one-time. Your donation will help us purchase flowers to adorn the chapel for special Feast Days and Holy Days.

Prison Ministry: Your donation will help us minister to the incarcerated and prison chaplains in the U.S. and around the world.

Needs of Franciscan Friars:Select monthly recurring or one-time. Your donation will help us meet the daily needs of the Franciscan Friars of Marytown 

†All donations are 100% tax-deductible. 
††The Franciscan Friars of Marytown are a  501(c)3 non-profit organization.


1600 W Park Ave, 

Libertyville, IL 60048

(847) 367-7800

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