About the National Shrine of St. Philomena in Briggsville, Wisconsin:
The Shrine dates from the 1940’s and is the result of the efforts of Father I.C. Wiltzius, Pastor of Saint Mary’s Church in Briggsville, who came here from the Milwaukee area. He brought with him a first-class relic of Saint Philomena, which had originally been obtained by Father Maurice Dorney in Naples, in 1937.
Saint Philomena made her entry into Briggsville on the last Sunday of August 1947, and the outdoor shrine dedicated to her honor was started on August 8, 1949. It was planned as a replica of the dungeon where the young Martyr-Saint, Philomena, had suffered and died to preserve her virginity.
A man of seventy-six, named Jake, and his helper, a boy of sixteen, completed the structure on September 1, 1950. There are forty-five tons of granite in the superstructure alone, all hauled and laid by the two.
Old Jake used a cane to support himself because he was badly crippled…until the fourth day of work…that’s when his “Little Girl Friend”, as he fondly called Saint Philomena, fixed him up, he swears. He discarded the cane and didn’t use it again.
The upper structure is built of granite from many parts of the world. The red granite, which predominates, is the genuine Montello stone, from a quarry in the town of Montello, 25 miles from Briggsville.
Finding the National Shrine of Saint Philomena in Briggsville:
Address: N565 County Rd A, Briggsville, WI 53920
Click here for the official website of the National Shrine of St. Philomena in Briggsville, Wisconsin.