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Holand, Hjalmar Rued, 1872-1963 / Wisconsin's Belgian community : an account of the early events in the Belgian settlement in northeastern Wisconsin with particular reference to the Belgians in Door County

Chapter VI: A little church history,   pp. [69]-80 PDF (2.5 MB)

Page [69]

WHEN THE early French pioneers of Beau-Pre settled
in the wilderness of the St. Lawrence valley, they were
much comforted by the report that the Holy Virgin had
appeared among them in a vision. This was taken as divine
assurance that, although far from the altars and churches
of the home land, they were not forgotten by Heaven, but
the Mother of God was with them, solicitously interested
in their welfare.
    As it was in the woods of Beau-Pre, so also was it in
the Wisconsin wilderness where the Belgians had sought a
home. There, too, the Holy Virgin appeared in person, and
the first house of worship was built on the spot blessed by
her presence. This is said to have happened August 15,
1858 in the heart of Aux Premiers Belges, and there are
still many people who remember with what grateful exulta-
tion the people received this wonderful testimony of the
Virgin's favor.
    On that auspicious Sunday morning, Adele Brice, a girl
of eighteen, was returning from holy mass in Bay Settle-
ment. She had risen early to get her work done, for she
had a ten-mile walk to church, and the woodland path was
rough and hilly.  After mass she was returning, weary
but happy with the joy of youth and the comfort of having
done her duty. When near her home she was about to pass
between two white-boled birches crowned with a glory of

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