In the 1800s there were many Belgians who made their way to Wisconsin and settled in this vast, forested territory. Among the immigrants was Adele Brise. In 1859, our Blessed Mother appeared to this humble young woman at what is now the town of Champion.
The first two apparitions were silent, but the third time the Blessed Virgin Mary spoke to her: “I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same. You received Holy Communion this morning and that is well. But you must do more.
“Make a general confession and offer Communion for the conversion of sinners… Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation… Teach them their catechism, how to sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments; that is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing. I will help you.”
Bishop David Ricken takes up the story: “Adele Brise began immediately to fulfill the mandate and mission entrusted to her by the Lady and oftentimes at great personal sacrifice went to the homes of the children to instruct them in the largely unsettled and forested area in Wisconsin.
“Adele was ever obedient to the authorities of the Church and steadfast in the mission entrusted to her by Our Lady, no matter what difficulty she encountered. The mission given her became such a commitment that she set up a Catholic school of instruction for children and even began a community of Third Order Franciscan women, who assisted her in her obedience to the mandate of Our Lady to pray for the conversion of sinners and to instruct the children. “
In 2010, after a two-year investigation into the apparitions, Bishop David Ricken, bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, where the apparitions took place, declared the apparitions “as worthy of belief (though not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.” Over the years, many conversions and healings have taken place through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Help.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is the only Marian shrine in the United States on the site of an approved Marian apparition. This peaceful shrine, nestled in the midst of farmland, attracts pilgrims from all over the world!
The Prayer to Our Lady of Good Help below could be prayed as a novena if you’d like. You can pray for peace and for all your intentions.
Prayer to Our Lady of Good Help
By Most Reverend David L. Ricken, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin
O Dear Lady of Good Help, you revealed yourself as the Queen of Heaven to your servant Adele. You gave her a mission to pray for the conversion of sinners, to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to others, and to prepare the children for the reception of the sacraments. I trust that as you called Adele to holiness, you are calling me, in my station in life, to live a holy life, devoted to Jesus Christ with the help of your maternal love. I bring before you now my worries and anxieties. I abandon my attachments to them and place them at your feet. I ask you to hear the deepest longings of my heart as I pray most earnestly for (your intention). Dear Lady, you told Adele and you say to all of us, “Do not be afraid; I will help you.” Help me now as I place this intention with complete confidence and trust. Amen.
Our Father…, Hail Mary…, Glory Be…
Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us.