Churches in Paris contribute greatly to the beauty of the City of Lights in all districts. Notre Dame along the river and the Sacre Coeur on Montmartre hill are the most famous. Discover the top churches that are worth the visit. Paris monuments.
The Catholic Church has played a key role in the history of the city since the baptism of King Clovis in 496 by Bishop Rémi in Rheims, the capital of Champagne. Clovis was therefore the first French Christian King. Clovis also established the City of Lights as the capital of France in 508.
The bishopric of Paris was created in the fourth century. According to the tradition, the city was evangelized by Saint Denis, the first bishop of the city, who was martyred in Montmartre and buried in Saint Denis.
Christianity is everywhere visible in the city. 137 churches from the 11th century up to the 21st century embellish the city and structure its spiritual life. The seat of the archdiocese is at Notre Dame cathedral. In the city, there are 106 parishes, 80 male religious communities and 140 female religious communities. The Emmanuel, Chemin Neuf and Neo-catéchuménat communities are also present.
Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre and the Sainte Chapelle (no masses) near Notre Dame are rightly world famous monuments. The Pantheon, built as Sainte Genevieve Church, was turned into a memorial for great Frenchmen during the French revolution. Les Invalides, a 17th century military hospital, has two great churches and Napoleon's tomb in one of them.
The Catholic churches are not just great monuments. Christianity and Catholic faith ares very alive in the city.
Popular Catholic faith is most visible at the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in the left bank with its 2 million pilgrims yearly from all over the world. Since the 1st of August 1885, a daily 11pm to 7am silent night adoration takes place inside Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. Notre Dame des Victoires and Saint-Louis d'Antin are two always on Catholic communities. The Saint Germain des Pres Catholic Community is very active, including the well known Even student program.
The 11am Sunday mass in Saint-Gervais Church, animated by the Jerusalem monastic Community and the 9am mass, sung in Gregorian, of La Trinite Church, run by the Emmanuel Community are two of the most moving masses.
Notre-Dame Cathedral is a perfect shrine for god's prayer. Sunday 10am mass sung in Gregorian is beautiful. The veneration of the Holy Crown of thorns takes place there every first Friday of the month and each Friday of lent at 3pm.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
140, rue du Bac 75007
Saint Denis Cathedral
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 93200 Saint-Denis
Saint Germain des Pres
3 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006 Paris
Saint Eustache web site (map)
2 impasse Saint-Eustache 75001 Paris
Saint Etienne du Mont web site (map)
Place Sainte Genevieve 75005 Paris
Saint Gervais web site (map)
Place Saint Gervais 75004 Paris
Saint Sulpice web site (map)
Pace Saint Sulpice 75006 Paris
Notre Dame des Victoires web site (map)
Place des Petits-Pères 75002 Paris
Saint Roch web site (map)
296 rue Saint Honore, 75001 Paris
Val de Grace (Mass on Sunday only)
Place Alphonse Laveran 75005 Paris
The only Catholic masses in English in the city are held at St Joseph's Church, the english speaking catholic church of the City of Lights. Founded in 1863, it is staffed by priests of the Congregation of the Passion and located 50, avenue Hoche 75008 near Champs Elysees. Paris map.
Masses: Saturday - 11am, 6.30pm, Sunday - 9.30am, 11am, 12.30pm, 6.30pm, Monday through Friday - 8.30am, July & August - Sunday 10am, 12.00 noon and 6.30pm. Web site
Paris concert halls regularly stage great religious music.
If you have some time to spend in France besides Paris, we can recommend you a few great pilgrimage places. First of all, Lourdes is a faithful pilgrimage city. Count two days from Paris. See Lourdes details.
Close to the city, Chartres is one of the most beautiful Catholic Cathedrals in Europe and a fervent pilgrimage destination. There is a possibility to go to famous Mont Saint Michel or Vezelay Basilica on a tour from Paris.