The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation 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.