Our Lady of Good Help — An Approved Marian Apparition In The United States

Our Sunday Visitor is reporting that the Church has approved an 1859 Marian apparition that occurred in Champion, Wisconsin.  The Blessed Mother appeared to Adele Brise three times.  The last time, according to the story, the Blessed Mother asked Adele:

Upon returning home with her companions, the apparition appeared a final time. When Brise asked the identity of the apparition as she was instructed, it replied, “I am the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners, and I wish you to do the same.”

Brise then asked the apparition what she desired of her, and the apparition replied: “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.”

Interestingly, the Church has two levels of approval for events such as this.  The first is to permit worship and other religious activities to occur at the location.  The second level is a declaration that the event is of “supernatural origin” and worthy of belief by Christians.  Note well, though, that belief is not binding on us, the Church only proposes it as worthy of belief.   Here is the proclamation from Green Bay Bishop David L. Ricken:

“I declare with moral certainty and in accord with the norms of the Church that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and I do hereby approve these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful,” he said.

Mary’s message is straightforward: catechesis of children.  Isn’t that one of our most important duties as Catholic dads?

If you are interested in more information, check out the OSV story linked above, the webapage of the Diocese of Green Bay that is devoted to this issue, and the website of Our Lady of Good Help.