In The Foothills Of Missouri, A Forgotten Grotto With 'Healing' Waters Was Found
From the mailbag for your discernment
By Michael H. Brown
Photo taken at Lourdes Grotto at the Black Madonna Shrine near Eureka, Missouri, in 1997 on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "As you can see, from the sun's rays, a miraculous image showed up," writes a correspondent, Melinda Nyikos. "I see Our Blessed Mother praying by Jesus after His Crucifixion. Notice the wrist wound on Jesus' Hand dangling? And crown of thorns? Miraculously, I found this hidden Lourdes Grotto while driving back to Tulsa in 1996 on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. I'm enclosing the testimony on how this grotto was discovered at Our Lady's request after being forgotten for forty years."
The Black Madonna Shrine is part of a 500-acre Franciscan Mission. St. Joseph Hill Infirmary, Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, an art studio run by a monk named Brother Matthew Gallagher, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, and small grottos dedicated to St. Francis and Christ Crucified are located there, we are informed. A local woman, Mary Ellen Girard Alderson, testified to having received a "message" from Our Lady on October 25, 1995, that instructed her as to the precise location of a nearly forgotten spring, which was then later visited by Melinda, also. When asked how she knew where she was going by Brother Matthew, who escorted Mary Ellen and her husband into the woodland, she explained that the Blessed Mother had told her to go down a path to the right. "As we walked a few more paces into the forest a white dove flew out across in front of us to the left side of the road," recounted Mrs. Alderson. "Brother Matthew's words were: 'That's the Holy Spirit' and I believed too. We turned right and then went into the forest on a rough path, very difficult to get through, so overgrown with brush, but as we walked on for about 1,000 feet, we approached a grove of native cedar trees on our left. I was drawn to turn in their direction and there it was, the 'healing spring,' and Our Lady surrounded by natural stone."
According to Melinda, there have been miracles due to the spring water at the grotto and other reputed wonders. Located about 30 minutes south of St. Louis, in the beautiful foothills of the Ozarks, the land is a shrine with forested area and a series of grottos begun in 1937 by Brother Bronislaus Luszcz, O.S.F., who had emigrated from Poland, where he had a profound devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa, known as the "Black Madonna." Brother Bronislaus, now deceased, constructed a wood shrine and hung a picture of the Virgin as represented at Czestochowa -- where she has been known to work miracles for centuries.
Sadly, the structure was destroyed by an arsonist in 1958, and at least this part of the sprawling site apparently fell into obscurity.
But it is no longer forgotten.
"The water has helped people," claims Mrs. Alderson, adding these words of advice: "Pray the Rosary. Pray to Our Blessed Mother, to the angels and saints, and Padre Pio."
Please see [www.blackmadonnashrine.org/bmshrinegrott.htm]
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