Recently three of us Sisters of Notre Dame drove to Bellevue, Ohio, to spend time at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine. We attended the liturgy outdoors at 11:00. Then in the afternoon we walked the pathways lined with the Stations of the Cross and many statues of saints. I was impressed by the variety of saints from different centuries, countries, and walks of life. Among the more recent saints were martyrs from the Ukraine, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Maximilian Kolbe. A barn-like structure housed the statues of Saint Isadore and his wife Maria, patron saints of farmers. Two scythes and baskets of produce reminded us visitors of the daily-ness and ordinariness of holiness attested by Isadore and Maria. The two largest shrines included the sepulcher of Jesus and the statues of Our Lady of Fatima and the children who propagated devotion to Mary 150 years ago. All pathways led back to the chapel, where prayer to Mary and the saints leads to adoration of our Eucharistic Lord.
If you have never visited the Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, you will not go wrong if you add it to your bucket list. Thousands of pilgrims have prayed there, giving its many acres of hermitages and woods an accumulation of blessings. Don’t leave the shrine without filling bottles with holy water and yourself with abundant blessing.