Monday, June 06, 2011


The last two years, we attended Memorial Day services at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, We no longer wish to attend the service because the occassion that was supposed to honor the men and women who gave their lives defending our nation has turned into opportunity for politicians to give speeches about themselves and why they should be elected or re-elected. This year, on Monday, May 30th we decided to attend Mass at the Black Madonna Shrine in Eureka, Missouri. A group of AARP members from Chicago, Illinois were also there for their annual pilgrimage to the Shrine. The members were Filipinos and they were the most faithful and joyful worshipers I have ever celebrated Mass with. It was a privilege to share the celebration with them.

The Black Madonna Shrine and Grotto was constructed in 1938 by Brother Bronislaus Luszcz, a Polish native, of the Franciscan order. The Shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of Czestochowa and is a replica of the shrine in Czestochowa. Brother Bronislaus spent 20+ years of his life building the rock grottos all by hands, without mechanical tools.

Visit to read more about the Shrine, the Grottos on the ground and other information such as nursing home and schedule of liturgical services.

The above icon of the Madonna and the mosaic wall of the Chapel (below photo) were created by Frederick Henze .

In 1958 an arsonist set fire to the altar which burned the chapel. It was hard to believe that the shrine was also vandalized many times.

The image is known as the Black Madonna because of its dark skin tones.

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