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Religious Apparitions: U.S. Shrine Declared Legitimate

Religious Apparitions: U.S. Shrine Declared Legitimate - Phantoms and Monsters Wiki
channel3000 - A Wisconsin site where an apparition of the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared three times to a Belgian-born nun in 1859 has earned the Roman Catholic Church's designation as the only of its kind in the U.S.

The site in the town of Champion has long been a popular destination for the faithful since the apparition was reported by Sister Adele Brise.

But only in the last two years did the Diocese of Green Bay undertake the official process to earn the distinction that puts it in company with sites including Lourdes, France; Guadalupe, Mexico; and Fatima, Portugal.

Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay announced Wednesday he officially approved the sightings as legitimate apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help at Champion.

A diocesan spokesman said there are only 11 other such sites worldwide.

WLUK-TV reported that Ricken opened his investigation in January 2009. He appointed a team of three Marian experts to study the history of Brise's claim.

The bishop said Brise's character was a major factor in the decision to approve the Marian apparition.


Most Reverend David Laurin Ricken, D.D., J.C.L.
By the Grace of God and the Authority of the Apostolic See
Bishop of Green Bay
Decree on the Authenticity of the Apparitions of 1859
at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help
Diocese of Green Bay
For over one hundred fifty-one years, a continuous flow of the faithful has come to Champion, Wisconsin to pray, to seek solace and comfort in times of trouble and to petition Our Lord Jesus Christ through the powerful intercession to Our Lady of Good Help.
Incessant prayer has gone up in this place based upon the word of a young Belgian immigrant woman, Adele Brise, who in October 1859 said that the Blessed Mother, a Lady clothed in dazzling white, had appeared to her on this site.
The Lady was elevated slightly in a bright light and gave words of solace and comfort and a bold and challenging mission for the young immigrant woman. The Lady gave her a two-fold mission of prayer for the conversion of sinners and catechesis. "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… Gather the children in this wild Diocese of Green Bay 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."
Adele Brise began immediately to fulfill the mandate and mission entrusted to her by the Lady and oftentimes at great personal sacrifice went to the homes of the children to instruct them in the largely unsettled and forested area in Wisconsin.
Adele was ever obedient to the authorities of the Church and steadfast in the mission entrusted to her by Our Lady, no matter what difficulty she encountered. The mission given her became such a commitment that she set up a Catholic school of instruction for children and even began a community of Third Order Franciscan women, who assisted her in her obedience to the mandate of Our Lady to pray for the conversion of sinners and to instruct the children.
A long tradition of oral and some documented sources recounting answered prayers at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help include conversions and many physical healings attributed to the Blessed Mother's intercession. Many physical healings are memorialized by the multitude of crutches and other mementoes of thanksgiving for answered prayers left at the Shrine. Prayers for physical healing are answered even to this day through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Help. Though none of these favors have been officially declared a miracle by the Church, they are clear evidence of spiritual fruitfulness and the history of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Shrine.
Graces have been poured out through the sacraments celebrated in this place especially through the celebration of the Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, as well as through the recitation of public devotions and private prayers.
Our Lady has lessened or relieved the burdens of the People of God, whether about financial, familial, relationship or employment matters or even through diminishing inclement and tempestuous weather.
This holy place was preserved from the infamous Peshtigo fire of 1871, when many of the faithful gathered here with Sr. Adele and prayed through the intercession of Our Lady of Good Help, with the result that the fire that devastated everything in its wake in this entire area stopped when it reached the parameters of the Shrine.
There is clear testimony to the upright character of Adele Brise, her devotion to Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her unwavering commitment to the mission Mary entrusted to her. Moreover, the uninterrupted history of faith and devotion testifies to the spiritual fruits bestowed upon the pilgrims to the Shrine.
Three Marian experts have studied the history of this alleged apparition and all of the extant documents, letters, and written testimonies in order to determine whether or not there are inherent contradictions or objections to the veracity of the testimony given by Adele Brise with regard to the events of 1859 and to establish whether or not there is enough evidence to suggest that the events which happened to Adele Brise may be of a supernatural origin.
The accounts of the apparitions and locutions are judged to be free from doctrinal error and consistent with the Catholic faith.
There is nothing in the person and character of Adele Brise that would question the veracity of the substance of her account. In fact, her personal character is a major factor in favor of the recognition of the apparition.
Objections concerning whether there was enough evidence to support a judgment in favor of the supernatural character of the events were thoroughly investigated and answered by the experts. The documents from the early history of the Shrine are not abundant, due primarily to the fact that Green Bay at the time of the apparition was frontier country. One of the experts affirmed that any lack of information does "not invalidate the overall impression of coherence between event and consequences, personality of the seer and commitment to the mission received, the comparability between this event and similar recognized apparitions, and challenges of the historical context and responses given."
These simple apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise became such a compelling theological and religious mission for her. The effects of these endeavors by her and many others have lasted these many years with such major spiritual benefit to so many people.
Many of the local clergy and clergy from other Dioceses and Religious Institutes have come here on pilgrimage with their people, also with spiritual benefit.
All of my esteemed predecessor Bishops of the Diocese of Green Bay for the past one hundred and fifty-one years have been present for special Masses in Honor of Our Lady of Good Help, and some of them have even actively promoted the Shrine.
It remains to me now, the Twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay and the lowliest of the servants of Mary, to 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 of 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.
I encourage the faithful to frequent this holy place as a place of solace and answered prayer.
Given at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, Champion, Wisconsin, the eighth day of December in the year of Our Lord two thousand and ten, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
His Excellency, Most Reverend David L. Ricken, D.D., J.C.L.
Twelfth Bishop of Green Bay



Religious Apparitions: U.S. Shrine Declared Legitimate - Phantoms and Monsters Wiki
In the summer of 1853, 10 families from Belgium settled just east of Green Bay. They were the first in a wave of 15,000 Belgian immigrants who would soon populate the region where Brown, Door and Kewaunee counties come together. Among them was Adele Brisse, a young peasant woman who came with her parents. The Brisse family established a remote farm northwest of the village of Luxembourg, and young Adele often helped carry its wheat several miles to a mill at Dyckesville, on the bay shore.

She also walked several miles to church each Sunday, following an Indian trail that ran to Bay Settlement. On the morning of Sunday, April 15, 1858, Adele was passing through some woods in Robinsonville when she was over-powered by a vision that she later described to a nun, who related it this way:

“… there appeared between two trees, one a maple and the other a hemlock, which stood for years after, a blinding white light which paralyzed the poor girl with fear. She cowered before it and prayed rapidly and breathlessly as the light took definite form, and between the trees stood a marvelously beautiful lady, clothed entirely in dazzling white garments, with no touch of color save a wide yellow sash or girdle. Her hair was auburn; her eyes deep and dark and she bore a radiant and kindly smile. Adele trembled with fear. The vision faded gradually away.” (Green Bay Gazette, August 13, 1925)

The next Sunday she traveled the same route with companions to show them the spot (location B on the map linked above). When they reached the two trees, Adele collapsed involuntarily to her knees as the vision re-appeared, though her friends saw nothing unusual. When they arrived at the church, a priest advised her that if it happened again, she should ask the beatific lady why she had appeared.

For the next several weeks curious crowds followed Adele through the woods each Sunday but nothing unusual happened. Then, on October 9, 1858, her friends saw Adele once again fall to her knees between the maple and the hemlock and ask aloud, “In the name of God, who are you and what do you wish of me?”

“‘I am the queen of the heavens’ she said in a soft and wonderful voice, ‘who prays for the conversion of sinners. I want you to do the same.’” The visionary woman told Adele, an illiterate peasant, to start a religious school for the area’s children, who lived many miles from any teacher and risked growing up in ignorance.

Although she felt unqualified, and was initially rejected by church authorities, Adele succeeded in raising enough funds to start. A neighbor donated five acres around the school and chapel, and her father built a 10×12 foot wooden chapel at the site of the visions. Adele soon managed to open a free school, and was joined by a local nun named Sister Pauline who carried the church and school into the 20th century (and is the main source for their early history).

When she was rejected by authorities and scoffed at by skeptics, Adele requested divine assistance, and miracle cures began to occur in the chapel. Tales of blind visitors regaining sight, of the desperately sick being cured, and of cripples restored to health began to spread. Behind the altar, a collection of discarded crutches and canes gradually built up.

Another supposed sign of divine intervention occurred during the famous Peshtigo Fire. On October 9-10, 1871, (the anniversary of Adele’s third vision), this massive fire spread through 400 square miles of northeastern Wisconsin, killing about 1,500 people. On the east side of Green Bay, it rapidly spread through the Belgian region. While others fled toward the lake for refuge, Adele and her community called on divine power for protection. They lifted the statue of the Blessed Virgin from the chapel and, carrying it above their heads, circled the buildings while praying for deliverance. The forest fire devastated the land all around them and spread right up to the fence surrounding their enclave — but did not leap over it. Their wooden school and church stood out like an island in the charred landscape. (Catholic Herald, May 23, 1935)

Descriptions of cures and divine intervention turned the little church and school into one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the Midwest, and it earned the nickname “Wisconsin?s Lourdes.” Adele Brisse died in 1896 but the chapel and school are still there, now known as Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, Wis. Visitors still come each August 15th to celebrate the Catholic holiday known as the Feast of the Assumption, to see the location of the vision and miracles, and to re-enact the sparing of the chapel during the Peshtigo Fire.


Where the Fatima Apparitions Actually Extraterrestrial?

Religious Apparitions: U.S. Shrine Declared Legitimate - Phantoms and Monsters WikiInterview with Professor Joaquim Fernandes, PhD in History at the University of Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal.

Professor Fernandes has recently completed some seriously groundbreaking research on the Fatima Cult linking it to UFO phenomena or to put it simply suggesting that the key event relating to this saga was extraterrestrial. Professor Fernandez was a key contributor to a series of books on the topic: The Fatima trilogy. All News Web recently caught up with the Professor to gain further insight into his fascinating findings on this topic:

1. What led you to research the Fatima Apparitions?

For a long time the Fatima Apparitions story was considered controversial and a lot of authors and thinkers thought that they were supported more by political than religious reasons and motivations. Then, we look to question what really had happen there by accessing the original archives and documents.

2. What kind of difficulties and obstacles did you find during the research?

The main obstacle was to access the Fatima sanctuary documents, namely the so-called Formigao archive that were classified until the end of the 1970’s when we proposed to study them. Following having the chance to read them, one of the authors (Fina d’Armada) was badly punished in her professional career.

3. Did you find any kind of surprises there?

The main surprise was that the extraordinary events could not have been invented. In our opinion they occurred in fact. But as more of the original documents emerged the more the events were mimetic of the ufological phenomena. Another surprise was the certification that Canon Formigao had modified the first historical description of the Fatima “Lady”: a little girl with a skirt to her knees he changed to an adult lady with a long and shining skirt. We also discovered that the image that the people can see today ay the Sanctuary was inspired by an old image of the previous cult of Senhora da Lapa Lady. But, more surprising was finding witnesses that described the so-called “Sun Miracle” as a “disk-like metal object” with equidistant lights in the periphery, like the classical hard daylight UFO cases.

4. How did Catholic believers and the religious authorities react?

As a lot of us are grounded in “belief systems” and have a deep supernatural dependence many believers did not read our books. Others linked their supernatural needs directly and exclusively with Fatima and are happy with their simplistic faith while not knowing the details of the Fatima events. Others read the books with a critical mind or react with perplexity or deny all in the name of their faith. Then, a lot of members of the Catholic Church hierarchy avoid discussing our views since they also need Fatima to keep on as a major financial source.

5. Do you plan to continue looking for new clues to the Fatima events?

We keep always in our minds the urgency to rethink religious personal experiences, like the “Marian apparitions” as a syndrome that calls for a deeper and deeper interest and research to find its origins and ways of expressions as a part of the Extraordinary Human Experiences in its totality. So, the different scientific disciplines and other cultural paranormal approaches must give attention to this aspect of popular religion. Also, we urge the experimental and theoretical experts to look at these rich documents that we think can be a good exercise to discover and understand how our brain and spirit can be stimulated to surpass the ordinary limits of human perception, “tuning” new extensions of the consciousness.

NOTE: here are two links that tie into witnessing religious particular, those supposedly witnessed by Joan of Arc - Channeling Spirits: Religious Heresy or Saintly Practice? and Joan of Arc Mystery Revealed...Lon

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