The story behind this celebration
+ Devotion to this Blessed Mother under the title of “Our Lady of Good Help” dates to three apparitions of the Virgin Mary in 1859.
+ In early October of that year, Adele Brise, a Belgian immigrant, experienced a vision of the Mother of God near Champion, Wisconsin. Adele described the woman as surrounded by bright light, clothed in white, with a yellow sash around her waist and a crown of stars above her flowing blond hair, and standing between two trees. No words were exchanged during those first encounters.
+ On October 9, Adele experienced a second vision. This time, she asked the woman who she was. The woman responded, “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same.” She then instructed Adele to “gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation.”
+ Adele would go on to establish a small school and devoted the remainder of her life to teaching local children. She also formed a small community of religious sisters to assist in this work.
+ In 2010, Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay, approved the apparitions, making this the first officially recognized apparition of the Mother of God in the United States.
+ To learn more about the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, visit: https://www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com/
For prayer and reflection
“The Mother of Jesus in the glory which she posses in body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come (cf. 2 Peter 3:10), a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.”—Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council
Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants, may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body, and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, may we be set free from present sorrow and come to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.