The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation is a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church and a shrine to the Virgin Mary, operated by the Conventual Franciscan Friars. It is located in Carey, a village in Northwest Ohio. It was made a national shrine by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
One of the five Roman Catholic basilicas in Ohio, Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio is one of some 60 basilicas in the United States. It is the site of an annual pilgrimage of Roman Catholics (primarily from the Middle East) to mark the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, celebrated 15 August of every year. The basilica is designated as a shrine to Our Lady of Consolation, Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted.
Since 1875, countless pilgrims have journeyed to the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio to offer prayers of thanks and to confide their needs to the Mother of God as Mary.
Devotion to Mary under this title dates back to the second century and is among her earliest titles of honor. In the 17th century, as plague ravaged the population of Luxembourg, the people formed a special union with Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted. An image of her was enshrined in a small chapel built on the outskirts of town and many favors were authenticated among visiting pilgrims. In 1652, the Pope fostered devotion to Our Lady under this title by establishing a confraternity.
The devotion spread to the United States, and the first shrine to Our Lady of Consolation was built in Carey, Ohio. A replica statue was commissioned and arrived from Luxembourg in 1875. Since 1875, Mary, the Mother of God, has manifested herself as a most loving Mother to the thousands of the devoted pilgrims at this shrine. Through her prayers, the sick and afflicted have found health, comfort and consolation.
Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio offers a number of special events throughout the year. All are welcome at any time on their journey to faith, hope and healing. In 1911, Bishop Schrembs of Ohio requested Franciscan Friar, Father Aloys Fish, to investigate more closely the devotion of the faithful visiting the Shrine.
Father Aloys wrote to the Bishop describing his experiences at the Shrine as “overwhelming!” The next year, Bishop Schrembs invited the Franciscan Friars to move permanently to Carey. To this day, the Conventual Franciscan Friars are present at the Shrine and serve in several surrounding parishes, ministering to the needs of the faithful. We continue to care for the countless pilgrims who visit the Shrine.
History of Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio
The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio is a place of great peace where pilgrims can pray and pay homage to the Blessed Mother.
Across the street from the Basilica stands the original Shrine Church. Construction on this, the first church in Carey, began in 1868 under the direction of Father Edward Vattman, pastor of St. Michael’s in Findlay, Ohio.
Once the church building was completed enough for its dedication, it was given the name of St. Edward. Care of the little church was given to Father Joseph Peter Gloden, pastor of the church of St. Nicholas, Frenchtown.
Father Joseph encouraged the faithful in Carey to complete the construction and asked them to direct their prayers to Mary, the Mother of God, under the title of Our Lady of Consolation, the patroness of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Father Joseph and the congregation promised to re-name the church in honor of Our Lady of Consolation upon its completion. As a means to support their devotion, Father Joseph procured a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Consolation which has always been revered in the Cathedral of Luxembourg.
On May 24, 1875, the statue of Our Lady of Consolation was carried in procession from the church of St. Nicholas to the church in Carey. It was during this procession that the first sign of the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin for all who were to pray in this little church was revealed. As the procession marched, a severe storm raged in the entire area. Though the faithful could see the rain pouring down on all sides of them for the entire seven-mile walk, not a drop touched the statue of Our Lady of Consolation nor anyone in the procession.
This memorable church, the place of so many favors granted through Mary, remains today not only as a relic of the past, but as a place of prayer and worship. Members of Our Lady of Consolation parish gather there for early morning Mass, and many groups celebrate the goodness of God with special programs and devotions within its walls.
Devotion to Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio spread to the United States, where the first shrine was built in Carey, Ohio. A replica statue was commissioned and arrived from Luxembourg in 1875. Cures and healings reportedly continue to take place at the shrine to the present day.
Bishop Joseph Schrembs, first bishop of the Diocese of Toledo, invited the Conventual Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception Province in Syracuse, New York to take charge of the shrine. In 1919, the railroads began offering reduced rates to Carey in summer during pilgrimage season.
In the summer of 1923 a contingent of Ku Klux Klan members arrived intent on holding a counter demonstration to the annual procession of the eve of the Feast of the Assumption, but ended holding a gathering on the outskirts of town.
The parish and pilgrim community is served by Catholic station WOHA (a simulcast of WJTA Glandorf/Leipsic) an EWTN affiliate at 94.9 FM in Ada bringing a clear signal to Carey and vicinity.
Architecture of Our Lady of Consolation, Carey, Ohio
The shrine complex includes the basilica, the original 1875 wooden parish church, the parish school, a rectory housing the pastor and other Franciscan priests, a provincial house which houses Franciscan friars, a convent for resident and itinerant nuns, a retreat center providing lodgings for lay and religious pilgrims, a gift shop, and a cafeteria.
The original parish church, the first church in Carey, began construction in 1868, under the direction of Father Edward Vatmann, pastor of St. Michael’s in Findlay, Ohio. At its dedication, it was given the name of St. Edward. In 1873 Father Joseph Peter Gloden, pastor of the church of St. Nicholas, Frenchtown, came to serve the parish.
The faithful in Carey worked to support the church’s construction and prayed to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Consolation. The congregation renamed the church in her honor upon its completion.
Father Gloden, a native of Luxembourg, obtained a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Consolation venerated in the Cathedral of Luxembourg. The wooden statue, thirty-six inches high, depicted Mary holding the infant Christ with mother and child dressed in ornate garments. On May 24, 1875, the statue of Our Lady of Consolation was carried in procession to the church, from the church of St. Nicholas, in Frenchtown, some seven miles away.
It is claimed that the first miraculous event occurred during this procession. As the procession marched, a severe storm raged in the entire area. Throughout the seven-mile walk, not a drop of rain touched the statue nor anyone in the procession.
The original parish church remains today and still sees daily use for early morning Mass, as well as for special programs and devotions.
The increasing number of pilgrims necessitated a bigger church. In 1924 construction of the red-brick Romanesque church was finished. The present Byzantine-style basilica is located at the corner of Clay & West streets. The main floor contains the narthex, the sanctuary, and the altar which maintains its pre-Vatican II configuration, separating the celebrant from the congregation by an altar rail and providing religious statuary and votive candles in alcoves along both sides of the sanctuary.
A choir loft containing the basilica’s pipe organ is located above the narthex overlooking the sanctuary. A second sanctuary is located in the basement, along with confessionals for the sacrament of reconciliation. Along the sides of the basement sanctuary, display cases show the various items cast off by those reportedly healed, including artificial limbs, canes, crutches, and even litters.
The nearby Shrine Park is the site of a set of Stations of the Cross that stretches nearly a mile along the park’s winding perimeter road, encircling an outdoor altar situated under a large dome supported by four marble columns. The dome is finished in gold and supports a statue at its apex of the Blessed Virgin Mary which can be seen from miles away. Shrine Park serves as the destination for the religious procession from the basilica on the Feast of the Assumption.
Our Lady of Consolation
Our Lady of Consolation or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted (Latin Consolatrix Afflictorum) is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It dates back to the second century and is one of her earliest Marian titles of honor. The title Comforter of the afflicted is also used as an invocation in the Litany of Loreto.
The origin of this invocation is derived from the Augustinian friars who propagated this particular devotion. In 1436 the Confraternity of the Holy Cincture of Our Lady of Consolation was founded in Bologna. It was based on an Augustinian tradition which holds that Saint Monica in the fourth century, was distraught with anxiety for her wayward son, Augustine, and that Mary gave her a sash which the Virgin wore, with the assurance that whoever wore this belt would receive her special consolation and protection.
Along with Saints Augustine, and Monica, Our Lady of Consolation is one of the three patrons of the Augustinian orders. The “Augustinian Rosary” is sometimes called the “crown of our mother of consolation”. In the 1700s, members of the Augustinian Order introduced the devotion to Our Lady of Consolation to the island of Malta. On 1 December 1722, the Prior General of the Augustinian Order, Thomas Cervioni, issued the decree for the erection of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation in the church of Saint Mark, run by the Augustinians at Rabat, Malta.
By this time the custom of asking for the final blessing before death in the name of Our Lady of Consolation was very popular, and the friars were given a dispensation to leave the monastery at any time to confer it. Processions in Our Lady’s honor were suspended during the French occupation of 1798 to discourage the gathering of crowds.
Giuseppe Allamano, the rector of the Santuario della Consolata in Turin, founded the Consolata Missionaries, a clerical religious congregation, in 1902. These missionaries brought the devotion of Our Lady of Consolation to Africa.
At the age of nineteen, Joseph Marello, a priest from Turin, contracted typhus. He attributed his recovery to Our Lady of Consolation. He recovered, and in 1878 he founded the Oblates of Saint Joseph.
Starting in the 2nd century, Catholics venerated Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, one of her earliest titles of honor. The title of Our Lady of Consolation, or Mary, Consoler of the Afflicted, comes from the Latin Consolatrix Afflictorum. It is found in the Litany of Loreto. Immigrants from Luxembourg transposed the cult of Our Lady of Consolation to the United States.
And the Angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.
Since the early days of Christianity, Mary, the blessed virgin, has been a source of solace for burdened Christians. Although she is known and venerated by many titles, devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Consolation dates back to the second century, making it one of her earliest titles of honor.
We are pleased to share with you prayers that are offered at our beautiful Shrine asking the intercession of Our Lady of Consolation. May you find peace and joy as you ask our Blessed Mother to bring your petitions to her Divine Son. God bless.
The Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation
The Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation is a spiritual association established for all who are devoted to Our Blessed Mother, in particular for those who come to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation. Established in the year 1878 by Pope Leo XIII, all of the members share in the prayers and good works of all the members wherever they may be.
In order to be a member of the Confraternity, members are expected to live their lives according to the promises made at their baptism and to be received here at the Shrine by a priest or a deacon. Further, they are asked to register their names in the Book of the Confraternity retained at the Shrine.
Enrollment in the Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation is conducted during pilgrimage devotions celebrated at the Shrine Sunday’s May through October at 1:30 pm. The Confraternity of Our Lady of Consolation is one more grace-filled gift available at the Shrine for all of Mary’s devoted children.
The Benedictines were the first monastic order to settle in the location of Turin. A church at the site, probably dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, stood adjacent to the ancient Roman walls of the city. It is held that in the 5th century, Bishop Maximus erected a church dedicated to Saint Andrew with a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The icon of Our Lady of Consolation inside the chapel, which is thought to be miraculous, became the object of great veneration. Meanwhile the icon is housed in the Santuario della Consolata. A star on her shoulder is characteristic of almost all the images.
The traditional depiction of Our Mother of Consolation in Augustinian houses show Mary holding the Christ child on her lap. Both of them hold the Augustinian cincture in their hands.
Feast Day - 25th May
The feast of Our Lady of Consolation is celebrated on 25th May.
The feast of Our Lady of Consolation is observed in particular places, regions, parish churches, orders or religious institutes. The Augustinian orders observe it on 4 September; while the Order of St Benedict is on 5 July.
In Malta, the feast day is celebrated on the last Sunday of October with pyrotechnic displays by Our Lady of Consolation Fireworks Factory. Feast of the Assumption of Mary, celebrated 15th August of every year.
Church Visiting Time
315 Clay Street, Carey,
Ohio – OH 43316, United States.
Tel : +1 419-396-7107
How to reach the Basilica
Toledo Express Airport (TOL / KTOL) at Carey, Ohio, United States is the nearby airport to the Basilica.
Toledo Train Station is the nearby train station to the Basilica.