Our Lady of Good Help
This weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin – just outside of Green Bay. It is, in fact, the only approved Marian apparition site in the United States.
The story of Adele Brise, the woman who saw the apparition of Mary, is amazing, and the story of her first spoken encounter with the Blessed Virgin is inspiring. Here is the story as told by Sister Pauline LaPlant, a friend of Sister Brise’s (source: http://www.shrineofourladyofgoodhelp.com/htmPages/g_hst_p3.html):
” In God’s name, who are you and what do you want of me?” asked Adele, as she had been directed.
“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. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them”
“Adele, who is it?” said one of the women. “O why can’t we see her as you do?” said another weeping.
“Kneel,’ said Adele, “the Lady says she is the Queen of Heaven.” Our Blessed Lady turned, looked kindly at them, and said, “Blessed are they that believe without seeing. What are you doing here in idleness…while your companions are working in the vineyard of my Son?”
“What more can I do, dear Lady?” said Adele, weeping.
“Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation”
“But how shall I teach them who know so little myself?” replied Adele.
“Teach them,” replied her radiant visitor, “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.”
The manifestation of Our Lady then lifted her hands, as though beseeching a blessing for those at her feet, and slowly vanished, leaving Adele overwhelmed and prostrate on the ground.
First, I noticed how Our Lady of Good Help quoted a verse from John 20, where Jesus speaks to St. Thomas, saying:
“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” -John 20:29, NAB
She said this for Sister Adele’s companions, her sister and neighbor, who could not see Our Lady, but it also seems to be a message to us. We were not there to witness this miracle, but that does not mean that we should not believe.
Next, I noticed how Our Lady of Good Help told Sister Adele to go and teach the world about her Son, and when Sister Adele felt that she was not qualified to do so, Our Lady of Good Help said not to worry. Sister Adele did not need any special qualifications – just a passion for Our Lord.
Finally, Our Lady of Good Help stressed the importance of teaching the basics. She stressed teaching the catechism, praying in the name of the Trinity (sign of the cross), and the sacraments. These are the same foundational truths that we must learn as Catholics today.
From the very beginning, I have built this ministry, from this website to our new book, to focus on these same ideas – especially learning the basics of the Catechism. I hope that Our Lady of Good Help would be pleased.
Will you answer this call? Regardless of your qualifications, will you teach the world around you about the catechism, prayer, and the sacraments? Will you let Our Lady of Good Help guide you to evangelizing your community?
Our Lady of Good Help, help us to share the beauties of the Catholic faith here in the United States. Our country is slipping from its faith, and we desperately need to get back to the basics of Catholic teaching. Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us!