CATHOLIC TRAVEL INSIDE THE UNITED STATES SERIES
When we think about Catholic pilgrimage sites, places like Rome, Lourdes, or Fatima come to mind. However, the United States offers dozens of amazing pilgrimage sites. These are only three of the many Catholic landmarks to visit in the United States, all located within the wonderful state of Wisconsin. Let's start with the first Shrine in the Northwest of the State.
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wisconsin
On the late 1990s, Cardinal Leo Burke (who was then the Bishop of La Crosse) was planning the construction of a Shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary on the 100-acre grounds that had been donated for that purpose to the archdiocese of La Crosse in the Mississippi River Valley. Around those years, then-Bishop Burke traveled to Mexico City and visited the Basilica and site of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He returned from that trip with the inspiration to dedicate the La Crosse shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.
This stunning and majestic campus includes a pilgrim’s center and vast devotional areas like the rosary walk, the Stations of the Cross, a votive candle chapel, and the Memorial to the Unborn, with a breathtaking statue of the Mother of the Unborn. At a second glance, we can recognize that the Mother of the Unborn is Our Lady of Guadalupe tenderly cradling three unborn babies in her arms.
The Shrine church is built in an Italian Renaissance style; the exterior reminds of Tuscan buildings, even though it was built with stone from Wisconsin and Minnesota. The interior is designed to look like a high renaissance or baroque church. When you walk the inside of the shrine you know exactly how all those amazing 700-year-old basilicas and cathedrals in Italy must have looked like when they were new, paintings and all, and no European basilica or church today compares to this sight and feeling. That’s what makes this church so unique, apart from the fact that that it houses first class relics of seven saints, including St. Therese of Lisieux and Saint Faustina.
Mass and the sacrament of Penance are celebrated daily by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate.
Getting lunch at the Culina Mariana Café is an experience, both in friendly service and excellent food, at great prices. The Flores Mariae gift shop is right across the café, and there you will find very good books and original Catholic art, jewelry, and gift items.
Feel free to explore our vast product collection of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Guadalupegifts.com