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Photo: Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Good Help Shrine

Adele Brise

When Our Lady Visited the U.S

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By Marc Massery (Apr 17, 2018)
This is the sixth article in a series on approved apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In 2010, the first and only approved Marian apparition in the United States was approved by Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay. This apparition took place more than 150 years ago in what is now called Champion, Wisconsin, a little town northeast of Green Bay.

The seer was a 28-year-old peasant, Adele Brise, originally from Belgium. At a young age, Adele lost permanent sight in one of her eyes in a lye accident. This tragedy, however, did not damage her faith. In fact, when she was a child, she promised the Blessed Virgin Mary that one day she would join a convent of teaching sisters. But before she could enter a religious order in Belgium, her family asked her to go to the United States to help them start a life in the New World. Adele's pastor recommended that she obey her parents and travel to America.

Four years after her family settled in the Midwest, Adele was walking to a nearby mill carrying a sack of wheat on her shoulder, when she saw a woman in a white dress floating above the trees. Before Adele could speak to her, she disappeared. A few days later, Adele was walking 11 miles to Mass with two companions and saw the woman in white again, but her companions saw nothing. After Mass, Adele told the priest about what she had been witnessing and asked his advice. He told Adele that if the figure reappeared, she should ask her, "In God's name, who are you and what do you want of me?"

On the journey home, Adele saw the woman once more, a yellow sash draped across her dazzling white dress and golden locks of hair flowing gracefully over her shoulders adorned with a crown of stars. Overcome by the sight, Adele fell to her knees and repeated the very words the priest told her to say.

The woman responded, "I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish [for] you to do the same." Our Lady asked Adele to make a general Confession and offer up her Communion for the conversion of sinners. She explained that if sinners did not convert, then Jesus would have to chastise them.

Meanwhile, Adele's companions asked her whom she was talking to and why they couldn't see her. Adele told them, "Kneel ... the Lady says she is the Queen of Heaven." The woman said to Adele, "Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation." Specifically, Mary asked Adele to teach children how to make the Sign of the Cross and how to approach the Sacraments reverently.

Since she had little education, Adele only agreed to teach because Mary promised she would help. For the next several years, Adele went catechizing from village to village within a 50-mile radius. She offered to do housework in exchange for permission to teach each family's children. Eventually, she brought more women into her mission, forming a third order of Franciscan sisters dedicated to teaching.

At the site of these apparitions now stands a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title "Our Lady of Good Help." In a country that desperately needs to reach more young people, we ought to pray for them to Our Lady of Good Help.

View the next article in this series.

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- Apr 30, 2018

Carmen. may our Lady bring my family pront help from her Son Jesus in every way She sees all we need to be the persons that honor our Lord in our actions, words and share his presence as He did when brough our salvation with the price of his Passion and deth, winning the victory for our Eternal Life