From a towering, hilltop basilica, to a stunning shrine nestled in the bluffs and quiet chapel in the countryside, Wisconsin is home to three incredibly reverent Marian shrines. Holy Hill, just outside of Milwaukee, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help all offer something different to those who visit. Here are a couple suggestions of things to do during your trip to Wisconsin’s Marian shrines.
- Photography at Holy Hill
Did you know that Holy Hill is one of the most photographed places in the state? From the stunning architecture to the gorgeous view from the upper church, there are endless photo possibilities for every photographer and Instagram enthusiast.
- Climb the Scenic Tower at Holy Hill
Being situated on one of the highest points in southeastern Wisconsin has its perks, like the view from the Holy Hill scenic tower. Climb 178 stairs for a one-of-a-kind view of the surrounding Kettle Moraine. Trust us, the view is worth it, especially in the fall.
- Walk the Stations of the Cross at Holy Hill
The Stations of the Cross tell the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, and every year on the Friday before Easter, the Archbishop of Milwaukee leads a prayerful walk along the Stations of the Cross on the Holy Hill grounds.
- Bike to Mary
This 200-mile bike pilgrimage travels from Holy Hill to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse. The five-day event offers participants the opportunity to deepen their faith and take in the beautiful Wisconsin countryside.
- Walk the Trails at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The grounds at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe consist of over a hundred acres of walking trails and devotional areas where people can reflect and pray.
- Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the apparition of Mary in Mexico to St. Juan Diego in December of 1531, and the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated every year on December 12th. Special activities include the singing of Las Mañanitas (traditional Mexican songs), a Spanish and English mass and pan dulces – traditional Mexican sweet breads.
- Walk to Mary
This 22-mile walking pilgrimage begins on the campus of St. Norbert College and ends at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. There are multiple checkpoints for people to join in if walking the entire 22-mile route is not an option.
- Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The biggest event of the year at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help celebrates Mary entering Heaven with an outdoor mass and rosary procession.
- Miracle of Fire
On October 8, 1871, the chapel and grounds of Our Lady of Good Help were left miraculously untouched by the Peshtigo Fire. Every year on the anniversary of the fire, people gather at the shrine to hear a historical reading of that night and participate in a candlelit rosary procession around the grounds.
- Visit all 3 of Wisconsin’s Marian shrines!
With rich history, stunning scenery to impressive architecture, these shrines have something to offer every visitor.