The 2023 pilgrimage season finished with the long-awaited event of the year, the Solemnity of Our Lady of Champion, on October 9. October 7 started the weekend of f with the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary. We enrolled over 150 people in the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary on Saturday, bringing our total to over 12,000 since our first enrollment in 2021. Sunday, we were Blessed to have Archbishop Listecki celebrate the 11:00 a.m. mass with over 800 pilgrims in attendance. That evening, over 1,200 Miracle of the Fire Candles illuminated the rosary path with intentions from pilgrims around the world.
After months of planning, the Inaugural Solemnity of Our Lady of Champion was upon us! The day started out at a brisk 40 degrees. As early as 8 a.m., pilgrims started arriving at the Shrine to get a seat for the Outdoor Mass behind the Apparition Chapel. A traditional rosary procession was led around the grounds as people started filling in the grassy space. The beautiful choir sang hymns leading up to the Mass, and right before the opening procession, an incredible sun phenomenon took place for all to see!
Five bishops, 45 priests, 25 servers, and 3,500 pilgrims participated in the Mass! The first reading was proclaimed in Walloon, the spoken language of Adele Brise. Bishop Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay gave a beautiful homily based on the message of the Blessed Mother to Adele, and following Mass, a meal was served for all in attendance in Mother of Mercy Hall. For a full transcript of his homily, see HERE.
More photos can be found on our Solemnity Page HERE!
To plan a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion, check out championshrine.org/visit to find resources, planning guides, and travel information.