Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary

ML031 Box 28 Marian Holy Card Collection


United States of America


While Holy Hill is an easy drive from its surrounding areas, it is somewhat isolated especially in the winter. Visitors can travel to Holy Hill for a variety of reasons. Many ethnic groups make yearly pilgrimages that started when Holy Hill was founded. Others are mere tourists and hikers enjoying the beautiful building and many still celebrate weekly mass here. According to many readings in the bible, praying to God is often best at higher places. Jesus was often documented praying on the Mount of Olives. Pilgrims often come to Holy Hill to heal. They believe that Jesus Christ will heal them through prayer of his mother, Mary. Francois Soubrio erected Holly Hill when he built a stone altar and built a cross. He immediately dedicated this place to Mary as a holy place of worship for all of time. The origin of the name came when the local Indians and early settlers called this place the “big hill”. Some of the early Irish settlers began dedicating the big hill to the Blessed Virgin Mary. These were the first people to call this place Holy Hill. However, from 1858 until 1891, many of the Catholics in the area referred to this place as St. Mary's Hill or Maria Hilfberg. Some even referred to it as hermit’s hill because this is where Francois Soubrio lived and he was called the Hermit. The name Holy Hill was first officially used by Father George Strickner in 1863 during a sermon in which he dedicated a log chapel as the first shrine of Mary. The Catholic Church honors Mary any chance they get because Mary is the mother of Jesus Christ, our lord and savior. Without her who knows what the world would look like today. So, they honor her with various shrines and statues so we never forget how important she is to us all. The actual statue is Mary presenting her son to the world. It was made in Munich, Germany and later brought to the United States of America in 1876. On July 1, 1878, eighteen barefoot women dressed in white robes with blue accents carried the statue seven miles from St. Hubert’s to the log chapel at Holy Hill. However, the statue is not the only depiction of Mary at Holy Hill. There are fourteen stained glass windows that portray Mary. Of the fourteen, there are two larger windows that show her relationship to the Order. The others show Mary and her personal life. For instance, some show Mary and Joseph, others show the birth of Mary, while the rest portray other significant moments in her life. Under these windows, many people leave crutches or braces because they believe Mary and Jesus Christ have healed them. High above the main altar is a canopy that hangs above. There are three panels to this canopy which contain a mosaic. The three panels depict The Court of Heaven with the middle panel showing Jesus at the right hand of the Father, with Mary and Joseph beneath him. The two outer panels show the twelve disciples.



Researched by Scott A. Vater

Popular Devotions

ML031 Box 28 Marian Holy Card Collection

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women.

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,

Now and at the hour of our death.


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of the Marian Library at the

University of Dayton.