Our Lady of Consolation
Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation
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 Vatmann, 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 favors 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.
Devotion to Mary under this title dates back to the second century and is among her earliest titles of honor. In the 17th century, as plague ravaged the population of Luxembourg, the people formed a special union with Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted.
An image of her was enshrined in a small chapel built on the outskirts of town and many favors were authenticated among visiting pilgrims. In 1652, the Pope fostered devotion to Our Lady under this title by establishing a confraternity.
The devotion spread to the United States, and the first shrine to Our Lady of Consolation was built in Carey, Ohio. A replica statue was commissioned and arrived from Luxembourg in 1875.
Since 1875, Mary, the Mother of God, has manifested herself as a most loving Mother to the thousands of the devoted pilgrims at this shrine. Through her prayers, the sick and afflicted have found health, comfort and consolation.
Our Lady of Consolation offers a number of special events and heritage days throughout the year. All are welcome at anytime on their journey to faith, hope and healing.
In 1911, Bishop Schrembs of Ohio requested Franciscan Friar, Father Aloys Fish, to investigate more closely the devotion of the faithful visiting the Shrine. Father Aloys wrote to the Bishop describing his experiences at the Shrine as “overwhelming!” The next year, Bishop Schrembs invited the Franciscan Friars to move permanently to Carey.
To this day, the Conventual Franciscan Friars are present at the Shrine and serve in several surrounding parishes, ministering to the needs of the faithful. We continue to care for the countless pilgrims who visit the Shrine.
STATUE OF THE VIRGIN MARY ON THE ALTAR INSIDE THE BASILICA
Inscription: O All Ye that pass by the way attend & see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.