Wisconsin shrine officially recognized as site of Virgin Mary apparitions

February 15, 2011

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A shrine in northeastern Wisconsin has earned a unique designation. The Diocese of Green Bay says it's the first site in the country with sightings of the Virgin Mary approved by the Catholic Church.

The Diocese says the Virgin Mary appeared to an immigrant woman named Adele Brise three times in 1859. Brise reported she saw a woman dressed in dazzling white with a crown of stars who told her to educate the children in the faith. Brise's father built a small shrine on the site, and Brise started a community of Franciscan women and a Catholic school there.

Bishop David Ricken says people have been coming to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to pray for miracles for decades.

The bishop opened a formal investigation two years ago, and appointed theological experts. In December, he declared the apparitions as "worthy of belief."