The tomb of St. Katharine Drexel, which was moved last year from Bucks County to the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Center City, will be designated a shrine of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, church officials announced Wednesday.

The sarcophagus was relocated in August from the 44-acre Bensalem estate of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious community founded by St. Katharine in 1891. The nuns are selling the property, a former national shrine dedicated to her, because of a decline in membership.

The Rev. Dennis Gill, rector of the cathedral, will discuss the designation at a news conference Thursday.

A portrait of St. Katharine Drexel displayed during a press conference to unveil the tomb of the saint at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
.DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
A portrait of St. Katharine Drexel displayed during a press conference to unveil the tomb of the saint at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

St. Katharine, a Philadelphia heiress, gave up her family fortune to become a nun. She devoted her life to serving marginalized communities. In 2000, she was canonized.

The tomb, made of sandstone, is on the chapel-side aisle in the rear of the cathedral, next to an altar dedicated to the Drexel family. Its construction was funded by a grant from the Connelly Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization based in West Conshohocken. The shrine will become one of five in the archdiocese.