Visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

My boyfriend, Bryce, has a friend visiting this week, so we’ve been trying to find things for her to do in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area.

One place that he and his parents have been before is the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe just south of La Crosse. I was excited to go since I have never been there before.

The various parts of the shrine were built and dedicated throughout the 2000s and 2010s. It’s extremely beautiful and peaceful. I don’t know very much about Catholocism, but there are plenty of plaques and people working at the shrine to explain things.

We started the day at the Pilgrim Center where we had breakfast in the Culina Mariana Café. After breakfast, we walked up the Meditation trail. Our first stop was the Votive Candle Chapel, which looks amazing both on the inside and the outside.

There were several devotional areas along the Meditation Trail. My favorite was the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Devotional Area. The map we had gotten from the Votive Candle Chapel told us that Saint Kateri was the first Native American to be blessed. Someone had left rosary beads next to Saint Kateri’s right knee.

We arrived at the Shrine Church right as a Mass was starting, so we didn’t have the chance to look around much, but it was very beautiful. The fresco and chandeliers in the entryway were amazing.

Be sure to walk around to the back of the Shrine Church during your visit. The architecture is amazing from both the front and back.

Our next stop was the Memorial of the Unborn, which is very moving. The Memorial includes a mausoleum in which children who were not brought to full term are interred. The Mother of the Unborn Devotional Area has a statue of Our Lady of Guadelupe, who is the Mother of the Unborn, holding three babies.

We walked the loop that showed the Stations of the Cross and Bryce told us what each of the Stations was.

The Rosary Walk led us to the end of the Meditation Trail. There are several arcs with artwork to help you pray the Rosary during the walk.

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