What began as a concept in the summer of 2023 with the National Eucharistic Congress, has turned into a brilliant movement to celebrate sacred art and Our Lady for the National Eucharistic Revival!

The team at the National Eucharistic Congress reached out to The National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion, sharing their desire to have artwork from churches, Shrines, and sacred sites at the National Congress in July. The Shrine was then paired with a well-known artist from St. Louis, Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs, to paint the beautiful scene of Our Lady of Champion’s appearance to Adele Brise in 1859.

Gwyneth describes the painting through her lens:

This painting highlights the Eucharistic element of Our Lady of Champion by uniting the three apparitions to Adele Brise into a single image. As in each apparition, the Queen of Heaven is depicted robed in dazzling white, standing between two trees—a maple and a hemlock—in the midst of an ancient forest in early October 1859. She appears to dissolve into a cloud of mist, as she did after the second apparition. As Adele noticed in the third apparition, a yellow sash surrounds Our Lady’s waist, a crown of stars surrounds her head, and her long, wavy golden hair falls over her shoulders. Adele could hardly look at her face because of the bright light shining around her. In the painting, a sheer veil communicates this not-quite-blinding light. The right half of Adele’s face, clearly lit to the viewer, reveals what must have most distinguished her in the eyes of the world: the prominent scars from a childhood accident with lye. The left half of her face, with her eye fixed on the Queen of Heaven, is veiled in shadow from the viewer. Adele is dressed in workday clothes, as she was at the time of the first apparition, when she was on her way to the gristmill with a sack of wheat. The wheat also alludes to the second and third apparitions, when Adele was on her way to and from the reception of Holy Communion. As during the third apparition, she has fallen to her knees to receive her mission from the Queen of Heaven:

Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation . . . their catechism, how to sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross, and how to approach the sacraments.

Our Lady’s raised right hand at once suggests the mission to go out and gather the children of the country, and the blessing she seemed to impart before disappearing. Adele’s acceptance of this mission is symbolized by her embrace of the wheat, which becomes the interpretive key of the painting. Cultivated in the midst of the wilderness by the children of the country, the wheat is called – like them – to be transformed through the Cross and the Sacraments; and with Adele’s cooperation—into a pure sacrifice to the Lord.

The final work of art will be on display in a chapel at the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis from July 17-21, it will then travel to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion to be displayed for pilgrims to see and pray with.


Champion Shrine’s gift shop will have several items featuring this art, including prayer cards and various-sized prints. They will be available beginning this summer, 2024.

We are very grateful that Champion Shrine was invited to participate with the Eucharistic Congress in this program and look forward to sharing the wonderful piece of artwork with our visitors to the Shrine!