A historic cross built for Saint John Paul II’s Philadelphia visit over four decades ago will soon have a new home at Malvern Retreat House.

The cross, which has stood at the property of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on the corner of City and Lancaster avenues since 1979, will find a new home and be prominently located on the lawn of Malvern Retreat House’s 125-acre campus.

“As we witnessed the cross come down at the Overbrook campus, it became a very real sign that our seminary move to Gwynedd is imminent,” said Bishop Keith J. Chylinski, Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

“However, knowing that this cross is moving to a new home and a holy location at Malvern Retreat House, it becomes a real sign that the power of the Cross can never be destroyed.”

Over the course of ten days in October 1979, the one-day-to-be sainted Pope John Paul II visited six cities in the United States. He spent two of those days in Philadelphia.

The Holy Father celebrated Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway with over one million people in attendance. The altar, built at Logan Circle, provided a 360-degree view of the Mass.

The cross will be refurbished, and the installation will take place at Malvern Retreat House in the fall of 2024. An altar for Mass and adoration is also in the works .

The cross will be refurbished and installed at Malvern Retreat House in the fall of 2024.

“This cross will become an important part of our sacred grounds,” said Michael T. Norton President of Malvern Retreat House.

“The iconic cross may have a new home, but it will continue to be an iconic symbol of our Catholic Faith and Pope John Paul II’s call to raise up a new generation of Young Saints,” he added.

“Here we find the instrument of God’s perfect love, triumphant over all evil. This particular cross, having been in the presence of Pope St. John Paul II, has a tremendous significance for our Archdiocese,” said Bishop Chylinski.

“I am very grateful that it will continue to be lifted high for all to see, evoking our recollection of God’s merciful love.”