Every year, the Walk to Mary grows in its attendance, and this year was no exception. In 2022, the 21-mile walk from the National Shrine of St. Joseph in De Pere, Wisconsin to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion (then Our Lady of Good Help) saw 3,374 people participate in the pilgrimage. This year, for the 10th Annual Walk to Mary, attendance rose by 60% to 5,530 people.
And it wasn’t 5,330 people from Green Bay, or even Wisconsin. These pilgrims came from 43 different states to show their respect and love for Our Lady and to ask for her intercession.
Why do people travel tens or hundreds or thousands of miles to make this life-changing walk? Their intentions range from the desire to find a spouse or have children to prayers for the healing of a loved one or to find a new job. As Father Rocky repeated many times leading up to the Walk, “If you want a house, if you want a spouse, if you want a baby, don’t say maybe. Come to the Walk to Mary.
Over the years, Relevant Radio has witnessed God answering thousands of prayers and intentions, many times through the intercession of His Blessed Mother, Mary. With the Shrine to Our Lady of Champion being the first and only Church-approved Marian apparition within the United States, we have direct access to Our Lady within our very borders.
Leading up to the 2023 Walk to Mary, you heard the miraculous stories of Myrna Herrbold, Matthew Livingstone, Mariusz Folta, Maria Salas, and our very own Maggie Groeschl. All of them experienced the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Champion, and its stories like theirs that attracts thousands from around the country and the world to make their own trek to Mary. Pictured below is 95-year-old John Sloot who is the oldest person to ever participate in the Walk to Mary.
Following the Walk to Mary on May 6th, Bishop David Ricken, the one responsible for affirming the legitimacy of the shrine, held Mass for the participants. And during the homily, he had this to say of those who had brought their most important intentions on their journey:
“Let go of your loved ones – meaning, entrust them to divine providence. Take your intentions and place them in the heart of the Sorrowful Mother – she knows she can take it. Allow your loved ones to be entrusted to the Blessed Mother; Mary’s unspeakable love included depriving herself of her own Son and her Lor – true love like this involves total sacrifice.”
If you were unable to make it to the 2023 Walk to Mary, but need Our Lady’s Intercession, be sure to look out for registration in February of 2024. And until then, rely on Marian favorites: Hail Holy Queen, The Memorare, and the Holy Rosary. Our Lady knows the way to Her Son’s heart, and she will never leave us unaided.