Last week I shared about our first virtue club meeting. To celebrate the end of the Year of Faith, we took the families of the virtue club to the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio for a pilgrimage. It was an amazing experience! I have been to the shrine in the past, but it had been at least 10 years since I had last been, and I was looking forward to sharing it with my children.
Located about an hour and a half north of Columbus, this is a beautiful treasure of our faith, right in Ohio. The shrine has been a place of miraculous intercession since its inception. When the church was completed, a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Consolation from the Cathedral in Luxembourg was brought to Carey. The statue was carried form St. Nicholas church to Carey in a procession, and the first of many miracles attributed to the special intercession of Our Blessed Mother occurred. There was a severe rain storm surrounding the entire area, and although those in attendance could see the rain pouring down, not a drop of rain touched the statue of Our Lady of Consolation nor anyone in the procession! Since the late 1800’s, he shrine has been a place of peace and hope for pilgrims to come and pray, ask for intercession for special needs and pay homage to Our Lady. The most popular day to visit is the eve of the Feast of the Assumption (August 14) when over 10,000 pilgrims gather for a candle light procession with the statue of Our Lady of Consolation. (You can check out a video on youtube here).
We took the pilgrimage designed for school age children, and were greeted upon arrival by Br. Randy. After a short introduction to the shrine, we began the day with confessions. We then took a tour of the Upper Basilica, which is stunningly beautiful, and where the statue of Our Lady of Consolation is cased.
Our group then attended mass in the Upper Basilica and the children were able to participate by doing the readings and petitions. We received a special blessing after mass with the Relic of the True Cross. The kids were really impressed with that! Our day continued with lunch in the cafeteria and we gathered together again for the Living Rosary. Fr. Florian did a wonderful job including all the children and parents to lead the Hail Mary’s, even helping the preschoolers recite the prayers.
We continued our pilgrimage with a tour of the lower basilica. Here is housed the chapel of the Holy Relics which contains hundreds of first class relics of the Saints. There are also multiple glass cases containing items that have been left in the basilica as thanksgiving for answered prayers. Crutches, splints, eyeglasses, pictures, casts, and even a large basket that carried a man cured of paralysis. It was quite an amazing testimony to the answered prayers through the intercession of Our Lady of Consolation.
We concluded the day with a trip to the gift shop and a farewell blessing for our health and safety. All the families that attended had a wonderful time. I know our family was very blessed to spend the day together praying and learning more about our faith! I would highly, highly recommend taking a trip to Carey with your women’s group, biblestudy, prayer group or even just family and friends.
You can read more about the shrine and even schedule your tour right on their website here.