Necedah Shrine

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Welcome center
Replica house and apparition spot
Church under construction in May 2008
People praying

Necedah Shrine, officially the Queen of the Holy Rosary, Mediatrix of Peace Shrine,[1] is a Marian shrine located in Necedah, Wisconsin. On November 12, 1949, Mary Ann Van Hoof (1909–1984) reported receiving a vision from the Blessed Virgin Mary. She claimed that in subsequent visions she was told to "bring the truth to people" through prayer and the rosary. The Roman Catholic Church investigated and found the reported visions and other phenomena indisputably faked, and when Van Hoof and her followers refused to desist, put her under interdict. Van Hoof and her followers then left the Roman Catholic Church and joined themselves to the Old Catholic movement.


Van Hoof reported that she received nine visions between November 12, 1949 and October 7, 1950. Many of the visions Van Hoof saw happened in her back yard at home.[1] Pilgrims reportedly saw Van Hoof in a state of religious ecstasy. The messages she received were recorded on a tape recorder, and written in long hand by at least two people. Some were repeated word for word, other paraphrased; 100,000 people attended the vision on August 15, 1950, and witness accounts vary significantly.

In 1956 Mrs. Van Hoof was made aware of certain revelations made by the Madonna to George Washington concerning various trials his country would experience. Mrs Van Hoof was given the ability to interpret these revelations.[2]

Van Hoof said that she suffered the Passion of Our Lord on the Fridays of Advent and Lent.

Van Hoof reported that she was told in a vision that the most perfect way of offering Mass was the Tridentine Mass approved by Saint Pius V and the Council of Trent for the Latin Church.[3] She was reportedly told that the Novus Ordo Mass, developed in the Vatican shortly after the Second Vatican Council, was watered down. Advocates of the Tridentine Mass oppose numerous changes implemented after Vatican II.[3]

The revelations also contain references to imminent chastisement, a thermonuclear World War III, Soviet submarines, and accusations that the Roman Catholic hierarchy and Papacy had been subverted.


After an investigation failed to support the validity of the apparitions, in 1951 John P. Treacy, Bishop of La Crosse, told the Van Hoofs to remove religious artifacts from their farm and stop circulating literature about the apparitions.[4] In an official statement issued in 1955, he declared the visions to be false and prohibited worship associated with them.[4] Van Hoof and her associates did not obey these orders. In May 1975, Bishop Frederick William Freking (1964–1983), Treacy's immediate successor, placed Van Hoof and six of her key followers under interdict,[5] precipitating Van Hoof's final schism with the Roman Catholic Church.


Since 1975, the shrine has continued to operate, but has disaffiliated from the Roman Catholic Church, and affiliated instead with an Old Catholic, conservative independent Catholic organization.[citation needed] The shrine runs a private primary school, established in 1982, and a visitor center. Believers are building a new "House of Prayer" at the spot of the visions.

Seven Sorrows of Our Sorrowful Mother's Home for Unwanted Infants - The name of the orphanage that used to be run by this community in the 1970s.[6]

Queen of the Holy Rosary, Mediatrix of Peace Shrine


  • Cuneo, Michael. "The Vengeful Virgin: Studies in Contemporary Catholic Apocalypticism" in Millennium, Messiahs and Mayhem. Henry Robbins and Susan Palmer, editors. New York: Routledge, 1997. ISBN 0-415-91649-6
  • Johnson, Kevin Orlin. Apparitions: Mystic Phenomena and What They Mean, Dallas, 1998.
  • Kselman, Thomas A. and Steven Avella, "Marian Piety and the Cold War in the United States," Catholic Historical Review 72 (1986): 403–424
  • Maloney, Marlene. "Necedah Revisited: Anatomy of a Phony Apparition" Fidelity Magazine, vol. 8, no. 3 (February 1989) pp. 18–34. ISSN 0730-0271
  • Swan, Henry My Work With Necedah Necedah: For My God and My Country Inc, 1959.
  • Van Hoof, Mary Ann and Myrtle Sommers. Revelations and Messages as Given Through Mary Ann Van Hoof at Necedah Wisconsin: Vol. 1: 1950–1970, Vol. 2: 1971–1975. Necedah: For My God and My Country Inc., 1978.
  • Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra. "Religious Experience and Public Cult: The Case of Mary Ann Van Hoof." Journal of Religion and Health 28 (1989): 36–57.
  • Zimdars-Swartz, Sandra Encountering Mary. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-691-07371-6


  1. ^ a b July 2006, vol. 8, no. 3, p. 3 of Shrine Newsletter
  2. ^ "Heaven's Messages", Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine
  3. ^ a b July 2006, Volume 8, Issue 3, Various pages of Shrine Newsletter
  4. ^ a b Curran, Timothy (May 5, 1975). "Bishop at La Crosse Moves Against Van Hoof Shrine". The Capital Times. p. 1, cols. 1–3.
  5. ^ Curran, Timothy (May 6, 1975). "Mrs. Van Hoof Gets Interdict". Wisconsin State Journal. p. 21, cols. 1–3.
  6. ^ Seven Sorrows of Our Sorrowful Mother Infants Home

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°1′17″N 090°3′21″W / 44.02139°N 90.05583°W / 44.02139; -90.05583