Viatorians have a special devotion to Mary, that comes straight from their founder, Fr. Louis Querbes, who prayed to Mary in 19th Century France.Spring 2008 004

The Province Center in Arlington Heights contains many images of the Blessed Virgin in its art collection, and a replica of the sculpture, Our Lady of Grace, stands in a prominent place on the grounds.

However, most noteworthy is the grotto built to Mary, on the campus of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, in Bourbonnais.

Br. John Koelzer, CSV, began building the grotto exactly 100 years ago, in 1915. It took three years to complete and fashion in the image of Our Lady of Maternity BVM grottoLourdes, when she appeared to young Bernadette.

Over the years, she has interceded for the safety of soldiers as far back as World War I, as well as countless school children, bridal couples, rosary groups and worshippers of all ages who have sought her protection.

As Viatorians prepare to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their arrival in Bourbonnais this summer, the grotto and the community’s devotion to Mary, remains steadfast.