"I invite you to come to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, located in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. For over 150 years, the faithful have come to this hallowed site seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her we find a loving mother, who is ever willing to intercede for us, so that we may be drawn into a deeper love and union with her Son. For instance, at the wedding of Cana she did not hesitate to intercede for this newly married couple at their wedding feast. Whatever be the circumstances of your life, come to the Shrine to pray, seek Mary’s intercession, and strive to follow the will of her Son, Jesus. It is my hope and prayer that your pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help brings you a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ, through the intercession of his Mother."
~ Bishop David Ricken ~
In early October of 1859 Adele Brise received her first vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the following Sunday, October 9th, when the Blessed Mother appeared to Adele for the third time, she warned:
“If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them.”
We do not propose to pass judgment on the reasons for this catastrophe, but, one day short of 12 years after the Robinsonville apparition, on October 8, 1871, the great calamity fell and a tragedy begat a miracle. The Belgian colony which embraced a large part of the peninsula and included Robinsonville, was visited by the same whirlwind of fire and wind that devastated Peshtigo.
When the tornado of fire approached Robinsonville, Sister Adele and her companions were determined not to abandon the Chapel. Encircled by the inferno, the Sisters, the children, area farmers and their families fled to the Shrine for protection. The statue of Mary was raised reverently and was processed around the sanctuary. When wind and fire threatened suffocation, they turned in another direction to hope and pray, saying the rosary. Hours later, rains came in a downpour, extinguishing the fiery fury outside the Chapel. The Robinsonville area was destroyed and desolate…except for the convent, the school, the Chapel, and the five acres of land consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Though the fire singed the Chapel fence, it had not entered the Chapel grounds. Those assembled at the Chapel, realizing that they had witnessed a miracle, were asked by Sister Adele to retire to the Convent, where they were made as comfortable as possible for the rest of the night.
What’s more, the only livestock to survive the fire were the cattle brought to the Chapel grounds by farmers and their families who came to the Shrine seeking shelter from the firestorm. Though the Chapel well was only a few feet deep, it gave the cattle outside all the water they needed to survive the fire, while many deeper wells in the area went dry. Hence, the Chapel well has been sometimes referred to as the “miraculous well”.
Messages to Adele Brise:
“ ‘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. If they do not convert and do penance, my Son will be obliged to punish them’
“ 'Adele, who is it?'' said one of the women. 'O why can't we see her as you do?' said another weeping.
“ ‘Kneel,’ said Adele, ‘the Lady says she is the Queen of Heaven.’ Our Blessed Lady turned, looked kindly at them, and said, ‘Blessed are they that believe without seeing. What are you doing here in idleness…while your companions are working in the vineyard of my Son?’
“ ‘What more can I do, dear Lady?’ said Adele, weeping.
“ ‘Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation’
“ ‘But how shall I teach them who know so little myself?’ replied Adele.
“ ‘Teach them,’ replied her radiant visitor, ‘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.’ "
~ Excerpts from the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help ~