The recent wildfires in California have caused shocking levels of death and destruction, and the danger is far from over. It is during such tragedies, when we feel most helpless, that we are called to turn to prayer as the faithful community of the Order of Malta for help and solace on behalf of those who are suffering.
Because of the remarkable history of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, in Champion, Wisconsin, we know that the Blessed Mother, under her title of Our Lady of Good Help, directly intervened to save the people of Champion from the great 1871 Wisconsin Peshtigo fire, which claimed more lives and burned more acres than any other fire in American history.
Sister Adele Brise gathered with hundreds of local residents and their livestock onto the grounds where Mary had appeared to Adele years before. These prayerful people of great faith were miraculously spared despite the devastation caused by the wildfires for miles in every direction.
The Presidents of the American, Western and Federal Associations request that all members join in a Novena for those who have been the victims of wildfires and for those who fear their destruction. We pray for the flames to go out and for healing and recovery to begin. It will take years to recover, but in faith we know that our people will not be abandoned and that the Order will be there to serve them as Christ’s hands and feet.
Please click here to download the Prayer to Our Lady of Good Help, developed by Bishop David Ricken, Bishop of the Green Bay Diocese, a chaplain of the Order of Malta. The prayer is designed so that it could be used as a novena. You can pray the novena in nine hourly prayers in one day, over nine days, on the same day of the week for nine weeks, or every day for nine weeks. We pray together as the faithful body of the Order to Our Lady of Good Help, reminding her that she intervened in 1871 and humbly asking for her intervention in this dark hour.
Thanks to Richard Feil, KM, from Eastern CT, who suggested praying for those suffering in California, based on this important connection of Our Lady of Good Help and the miracle of the Peshtigo fire.