The only sanctioned Marian apparition in America is getting ready for its first solemnity

  1. formal church investigation
  2. first appearance
  3. miracle of fire
  4. 200,000 pilgrimages
The Shrine of Our Lady of Champaign, (Champaign, Wisconsin).

On October 9, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champaign celebrates the 164th anniversary of the second and third apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Adele Bridges, a 28-year-old girl who later became a nun. These are the only acknowledged Marian apparitions in the United States. Although the celebration has long been an annual event, this is the first year the liturgy has been marked with a solemnity, Angelus News reports.

According to the organizers, The sanctuary is preparing for the solemn mass, which is estimated to be attended by more than 3,000 people. Most of Wisconsin’s bishops and between 50 and 100 priests will concelebrate. Due to the expected large crowd, Mass will be celebrated outside behind the Chapel of the Apparitions.

formal church investigation

In 2009, Bishop of Green Bay David L. Ricken initiated a formal Church investigation into the Marian apparitions that occurred at the Shrine site in 1859. The commission reviewed historical information about the apparitions, Adele’s life, as well as its consistency with public revelation protected by the Catholic Church.

In 2010, Bishop Ricken declared the statues “worthy of belief” by the authority of the Catholic Church, and in 2016, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the land as a national pilgrimage site, making it the first national pilgrimage site in the US. Went. America approved Marian apparitions.

The Vatican Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments approved the Solemnity of October 9 on December 15, 2022., The Holy See gives this gift only after a few years of seeing the fruits of life and practicing a shrine dedicated to Our Lady.

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“We hope this will be the first annual celebration of Our Lady of Champion on the sanctuary grounds,” he said. Bishop David L. of Green Bay, Wisconsin Riken.

first appearance

Bryce, a Belgian immigrant, was 28 when the incident happened in a forest about 18 miles from her home. Adele had a deep faith in the Virgin since her youth. The first appearance was when he was on his way to the mill to grind grain. The last two incidents occurred a few days later, when I was walking to and from Sunday Mass.

The October 9 anniversary is part of a three-day celebration that begins with the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7., On that day, at 11 a.m. a Mass is followed by a rosary procession around the Blessed Sacrament and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. rites.

October 8 is the anniversary of the Great Peshtigo Fire, which burned in northeastern Wisconsin in 1871 and killed 1,500 to 2,500 people. Local farmers flocked to the sanctuary, where Adele Bridges led a rosary procession through the grounds. Shortly after midnight it started raining and the fire went out. The sanctuary was saved, while the surrounding area suffered extensive damage from the fire.

miracle of fire

To commemorate the occasion, pilgrims gather inside the Sanctuary Chapel to hear the recitation of “The Miracle of Fire” on October 8 at 7 pm. the next one is done Reiterating the miracle, a candlelight procession was taken out around the shrine, The day concludes with rosary chanting and worship throughout the night.

On October 9, Bishop Ricken celebrates the inaugural Mass of the Solemnity of Our Lady of Champion at 11 a.m.

Procession on the grounds of the sanctuary in 1954.

200,000 pilgrimages

Nearly 200,000 pilgrims have visited the temple this year, surpassing the pre-Covid peak of about 175,000.

According to historical accounts, the Blessed Mother’s message to Adele Briz was as follows: “Make a general confession and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners.” “Gather the children of this wild country and teach them what they need to know for salvation. Teach them the catechism, how to cross themselves with the sign of the cross and how to approach the sacraments.”

The rector of the sanctuary, Father José Aytona, has commented that some wonder whether the sanctuary will be as large as Fatima, Lourdes or Guadalupe. He said, “My guess is not, because the facts are not as important as what happened on Tepeyac Hill, where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego with an image that he could literally see.”

“Like Lourdes, there are no healing waters here. There is nothing solid that we can touch or see,” he said, unless God has something else.

But Champion’s genius provides an environment for pilgrims to receive that gift from God that is beyond understanding. The priest said: “It will be a quiet and constant place for people to experience peace.”

Adele Bridges.


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