How did the shrine of our Lady Queen of Peace come into being?
In 1968 Payson was a small country town with a lovely church named after St. Philip the Apostle. It was a time of many changes in the Church after Vatican II. The Vietnam War was going on and never seemed to end.
A weekly/study prayer group was started with members meeting in each other’s homes. The book on Vatican Council II was used to help everyone understand the changes within the Church. These meetings were always opened with a Rosary for Peace, peace within themselves, their families, for world peace, and especially for an end to the Vietnam War. The members knelt before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary held in a wooden case. This statue was called the “Pilgrim Virgin” because it traveled from home to home each week.
All of this activity prompted the members to ask Father Radtke, the Pastor at that time, for permission to erect a Marion Shrine on the church grounds. Father Radtke whole-heartedly approved the plan and when asked if there would be any limitations as to the size of the Shrine his answer was “Whatever you decide will be fine.” The members decided to ask for donations from friends and relatives on their Christmas card list, and the result from this effort produced $1,600.00 of donations from all over the United States .
Nonna Beaugureau of Mesa Arizona heard of the prayerful work and suggested a shrine similar to the one in Emmitsburg , Maryland . It was simplistic but beautiful. The group needed permission from Bishop Francis Green. He graciously received the group and subsequently approved the project with the stipulation that no church funds be used due to the churches debt at that time.
Nonna then presented the group’s idea to Emil Galandi, Artist/Sculptor. He drew plans for a large plaque depicting the apparition of our Blessed Mother to the three children of Fatima . One late winter evening Nonna called Wanda Jacobs and asked her for a meeting in town. Nonna had the final drawing, Wanda approved it, and now the next phase could be started.
Where is the Shrine to Our Lady of Peace located? And how was the particular spot on the church grounds chosen?
A Mass was planned and offered up for the project, it was followed by a luncheon held in the church hall. All parishioners and the prayer group were invited to attend to offer their ideas and to help locate “the right spot” on the church grounds. Emil and Rose Galandi along with thirty others attended. Everyone walked with their heads in the clouds and their hearts in prayer. Suddenly Emil said, “This is it!” Father Radtke was walking with him and relayed the news to the rest of the group. All were in agreement that the little knoll behind the church would be just perfect.
When was the project completed?
Word spread of the undertaking, construction workers volunteered their time and expertise and the plans were drawn for the structure. The concrete foundation was poured and an “A Frame” slump block building was erected. The funds for the project at this point had been depleted. Additional funds for the roof and landscaping had to be solicited to complete the project.
In August 1973 Bishop Green was invited to bless the Shrine. A Concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving was offered up with the blessing of the Shrine. A fund raising dinner was held at the country club. Bishop Green was amazed and remarked how the terrain (except for the pine trees) reminded him of the Shrine area in Fatima . After this fruitful event funds became available to build the roof and landscape the area.
All of the parishes’ prayers were answered and fulfilled; in October 1976 the 1 st Annual Pilgrimage was held and celebrated.
What is the Shrine to Our Lady Queen of Peace used for?
Every year an annual pilgrimage is celebrated by the members of St. Philip the Apostle parish. We honor and remember the apparition of the Blessed Mother at Fatima . The faithful Mystical Rose Sodalists organized and put on this event each year. The original group, who went forth on faith, proved that anything is possible with Our Lord Jesus and His Holy Mother beside you! Let us Pray Rosaries For Peace!!
The 29 th. Annual Pilgrimage was held October 7 th, of 2005. The last apparition at Fatima , Portugal was on this day Oct 13 th 87 years ago, when a celestial phenomenon or miracle took place in addition to the apparition: the sun seemed to tumble from the sky and crash toward the earth drying the rain covered ground. Our Lady identified Herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary” and pleaded for prayer, works of penance and recourse to Her Immaculate Heart.
Note: Pope John Paul II after his gunshot wound, read the third secret…he immediately knew the significance of his role in the Collegial Consecration of Russia. Then everything that has followed. i.e. the Berlin wall… the splitting up of the USSR and an end to communism in that block…..The world still has the effects of the USSR atheistic policies… and it will take time to cleanse the world of these sinful effects. This is the beginning of the conversion of Islam ….. War makes for strange bedfellows…the terrorist are making the holy Muslims examine their positions and what they will want to teach their children in the schools…. A cry for democracy, freedom and justice, will ring in the mid-east and from this Christ will be revealed in their hearts.
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