Visitors are welcome to enjoy the main church and gardens on their own, but we also invite you to join a guided tour, which includes an introductory video, “behind the scenes” information and access to places not visible without a guide.
Special tours, such as Saints in Stained Glass on Nov. 1 (All Saints Day) are offered periodically and listed on the calendar.
Church and Catacomb Guided Tour
Guided tours of the church and its Mount Calvary and Holy Sepulchre shrines, plus the catacombs, Purgatory Chapel and Visitation and Nativity grottoes (lower level of the Church) are held daily:
• Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
• Sunday: 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
Reservations are not required for groups of 6 or less.
Learn more here
Special Guided Tours:
This tour is called the Franciscan Crown Tour with Lourdes and is offered on Marian Feast days.
These Special Tours are held at 1 p.m. on the following dates in 2017:
February 2: Presentation of the Lord
February 11: Our Lady of Lourdes
March 25: Annunciation
May 13: Our Lady of Fatima
May 31: Visitation
August 22: Queenship of Mary
September 8: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 12: Most Holy Name of Mary
September 15: Our Lady Of Sorrows (Seven Sorrows Tour)
October 7: Our Lady of the Rosary
November 21: Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 8: Immaculate Conception
December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe
This specialized tour is presented at 1 p.m. on the Fridays of Lent. It uses the replicas of the monastery church as well as the words from Sacred Scripture and St. Francis of Assisi to reflect on Our Lord’s Passion and Death.
Student Lenten Pilgrimages
These special programs are offered during Lent to students who take the daily tour of the church and Catacombs and pray the Stations of the Cross, weather permitting, at the outdoor stations in our garden. Following the Pilgrimage, each student is presented a certificate of participation with a blessing.
Stained Glass Tour
This specialized tour is given at 1 p.m. on November 1, the feast of All Saints, to honor the saints of the Franciscan Order and others who are depicted in the church’s stained glass windows. Among the saints are St. Francis, St. Bonaventure, St. Clare, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Explanations are given of the symbols in the windows as well as a short synopsis of the life of the saints.
Check the calendar of events for individual dates and times.
To ensure we can provide the best service possible, we ask groups of six or more to make a reservation by contacting us at 202-526-6800 or using our online form.
Guided tours are available of the interior of the Main Church and last approximately 45 minutes. The first part of the tour comprises the Upper Church and the second part the Lower Church, where the catacombs are located. Please note: Tours of the Lower Church, including the catacombs, are only given to two or more people. When in the Lower Church, visitors must remain with the guide at all times. The Lower Church is only accessible by stairs. It is not wheel-chair accessible nor is there an elevator. Walk-ins are welcome. Visitors are welcome to join a tour in progress. There is no tour fee, but donations are greatly appreciated. Groups of six or more must make reservations. Tours in Spanish are available by reservation only. To schedule a tour, call 202-526-6800 or submit an inquiry.
At all times, regardless of where you are in the Monastery, be respectful of others who might be praying and/or in confession. Eating and drinking are not allowed in church. Cell phones must be silenced, put on vibrate or turned off. Photography for personal use is allowed. Commercial photography, video recording and/or tape recording must request special permission. Personal belongings must remain with visitors at all times. No items may be left in the lobby, such as umbrellas, lunch bags, backpacks, strollers, etc. The Monastery is not responsible for lost or stolen belongings. There are no eating facilities on the premises. There are, however, several restaurants and an organic market located nearby on 12th St., N.E.