About Our Lady of Champion Image

Our Lady of Champion is an apparition of Our Lady to Belgian immigrant Adele Brise in Wisconsin in 1859. In 2010 the U.S. Bishops declared it to be worthy of belief, the first such approved apparition in the United States.

Read the full Our Lady of Champion novena on the novena page. You can also learn more about novenas here.

What is the story of Our Lady of Champion?

In October 1859, Adele Brise, a young woman of 28, experienced three apparitions of the Virgin Mary while walking through a wooded area near Champion, Wisconsin.

During these apparitions, Mary instructed Adele to pray, teach children the Catholic Faith, and build a chapel on the site of the apparitions for the conversion of sinners.

Adele Brise was born in Belgium in 1831 and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1855, settling in the rural area of Robinsonville (now Champion), Wisconsin. Like many immigrants of the time, Adele and her family faced the challenges of adapting to a new country and way of life.

In October 1859, while walking through a dense forest near Champion, Adele Brise saw three apparitions of the Virgin Mary. During these apparitions, Mary appeared to Adele as a woman clothed in dazzling white robes, standing between two trees.

Mary instructed Adele to pray fervently for the conversion of sinners, to teach the Catholic faith to children, and to build a chapel on the site.

Adele took Mary’s instructions seriously and devoted herself to fulfilling the mission that she had been given.

Despite facing skepticism and opposition from some members of the local community, Adele remained steadfast in her faith and determination. She began catechizing children in the area, traveling long distances on foot to reach them.

In 1861, with the help of her family and supporters, Adele Brise built a small wooden chapel on the site of the apparitions. The chapel was dedicated to Our Lady of Good Help and became a place of pilgrimage for Catholics in the region.

Adele continued to devote herself to the work of the chapel, teaching catechism classes and praying for the conversion of sinners.

Over the years, numerous accounts of miracles and answered prayers have been associated with the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. Pilgrims have reported healings, conversions, and other blessings attributed to the intercession of Our Lady.

The shrine continues to be a place of prayer, pilgrimage, and spiritual renewal for Catholics in the United States and beyond.

In 2010, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops officially recognized the apparitions at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help as worthy of belief, making it the only approved Marian apparition site in the United States.

This recognition affirmed the authenticity of Adele Brise’s encounters with the Virgin Mary and the significance of the shrine in the life of the Catholic Church.

In 2023, the Church gave approval to change the name of the shrine from The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to The National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion.