The Story of Our Lady of Good Help
Our group was formed in 2021 under the patronage of Our Lady of Good Help. Our Lady appeared to an immigrant Belgian woman, Adele Brise, in October of 1859 in northern Wisconsin, USA. The apparition was deemed worthy of belief by Bishop Strickland of Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2010 and it became the first Marian apparition in America.
Our Lady appeared to Adele five years after Adele had immigrated from Belgium with her family, struggling with the seemingly lost opportunity to join the Ursuline Sisters there. Her priest had assured her that if she obeyed her parents and continued to follow God, that God would provide a way for her to serve in America. On the way to the grist mill where she had been hauling wheat, Adele came upon an extraordinarily bright glow in the woods, between hemlock and maple trees. As Adele watched, the form took the shape of a beautiful woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a gold sash around her waist, along with a crown of twelve stars. Twice more Adele witnessed this apparition before she dared to speak to the vision and ask the woman who she was and what she wanted.
Our Lady of Good Help responded to Adele with these words:
"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."
Traveling with Adele that day were two of her companions who were not able to see Our Lady. Adele told them to kneel, because the Lady said she was the Queen of Heaven. As her companions did so, along with Adele herself, Our Lady turned to address them all and said the following words:
"Blessed are those who believe without seeing. What are you doing here in idleness?...Gather the children of this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation. Teach them their catechism, how to make 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 began carrying our Our Lady's words as she travelled among the many immigrant villages in the area, offering to do routine and hard labor on the homesteads in exchnage for an opportunity to teach the children their catechism and what they needed to know for their salvation.
Years later, on October 8th, 1871, the Midwest was in the midst of a terrible and historical drought. Two of the worst fires in America's history took place that day -- one in Chicago, Illinois, and the other in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The forest fires destroyed 1.5 million acres in the northern Wisconsin area and killed more than one thousand people in the process. Among those who survived, however, were the followers of Adele Brise and attendants of the small church that had been built in honor of Our Lady. As the fires swept through the homesteads, families rushed to the church for safety and began praying for a miracle. The campus of the church was marked by a picket fence, and in answer to the families' prayers, the fire never broached the church's property, scorching only the outside of the fence. The families that remained within its bounds were protected and saved.
Afterwards, devotion to Our Lady of Good Help continued to grow, and the National Shrine was admitted in 2010.
As homeschoolers, our families were particularly drawn to the encouragement Our Lady offers when she says to educate the children, and to "Go and fear nothing. I will help you." Find out more about the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help by clicking HERE.
Novena to Our Lady of Good Help
O Dear Lady of Good Help, You revealed yourself as the Queen of Heaven to your servant Adele. You gave her a mission to pray for the conversion of sinners, to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to others and to prepare children for the reception of the sacraments.
I trust that, as you called Adele to holiness, you are calling me, in my station in life, to live a holy life, devoted to Jesus Christ, with the help of your maternal love.
I bring before you now my worries and anxieties. I abandon my attachments to them and place them at your feet. I ask you to hear the deepest longings of my heart as I pray most earnestly for (your intention).
Dear Lady, you told Adele and you say to all of us “Do not be afraid; I will help you.” Help me now as I place this intention with complete confidence and trust. Amen.
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
Our Lady of Good Help, pray for us.