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Our Lady of Consolation

Our Lady of Consolation by Brenda Nippert

Artist Narrative:

During the seventeenth century, the plague ravaged the European country of Luxembourg and the people cried out to Mary as Consoler of the Afflicted or “Our Lady of Consolation.” Many favors were received and the devotion became part of their culture. The devotion spread to the United States where the first shrine to Our Lady of Consolation was built in Carey, Ohio. A replica statue was brought from Luxembourg in 1875. The statue was carried to her new church home in solemn procession. As the procession marched it's seven mile path, a terrible storm came up, ravaging the entire area. Though the faithful could see the rain, pouring down on all sides of them, not a drop fell on the entire procession for seven miles. Mary and her congregation arrived dry and happy at the new church and the devotion to Our Lady of Consolation still thrives there today. The vibrant community in Carey Ohio is ministered by Conventual Franciscan Friars, it is a place of overwhelming peace where Our Lady of Consolation and her children encounter each other for an exchange of love between a mother and her children.

Her feast day is September 4.

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The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation is a place of great peace where pilgrims can pray and pay homage to the Blessed Mother.

Across the street from the Basilica stands the original Shrine Church. Construction on this, the first church in Carey, began in 1868 under the direction of Father Edward Vattman, pastor of St. Michael’s in Findlay, Ohio.

Once the church building was completed enough for its dedication, it was given the name of St. Edward. Care of the little church was given to Father Joseph Peter Gloden, pastor of the church of St. Nicholas, Frenchtown. Father Joseph encouraged the faithful in Carey to complete the construction and asked them to direct their prayers to Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Consolation, the patroness of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Father Joseph and the congregation promised to re-name the church in honor of Our Lady of Consolation upon its completion. As a means to support their devotion, Father Joseph procured a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Consolation which has always been revered in the Cathedral of Luxembourg.

On May 24, 1875, the statue of Our Lady of Consolation was carried in procession from the church of St. Nicholas to the church in Carey. It was during this procession that the first sign of the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin for all who were to pray in this little church was revealed. As the procession marched, a severe storm raged in the entire area. Though the faithful could see the rain pouring down on all sides of them for the entire seven-mile walk, not a drop touched the statue of Our Lady of Consolation nor anyone in the procession.

This memorable church, the place of so many favours granted through Mary, remains today not only as a relic of the past, but as a place of prayer and worship. Members of Our Lady of Consolation parish gather there for early morning Mass, and many groups celebrate the goodness of God with special programs and devotions within its walls.

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