FATHER MATTHIAS WERNERUS The Holy Ghost Dickeyville Grotto (1925-1930)
Stone, mortar, and bright color eked objects collected from all over the world: including but not limited to colored glass, gems, antique heirlooms of pottery or porcelain, stalagmites and stalactites, sea shells of all kinds, starfish, petrified sea urchins and fossils, a variety of corals plus amber glass, agate, quartz, ores such as iron, copper, lead, fools gold, rock crystals, onyx, amethyst and coal as well as petrified wood and moss.
On Sunday, September 14, 1930 the Grotto and Shrines were dedicated in Dickeyville, Wisconsin. No accurate record of the amount of stone was kept, but it is known that six or seven truck loads of thirty tons each were gathered from the Dakotas, from Iowa, and from nearby Wisconsin quarries.
The Main Grotto was last shrine completed by Father Wernerus and contains within it the shrine of the Blessed Virgin. On either side of the main grotto is a pillar fashioned of Rose Quartz from South Dakota, one crowned with an American Flag and the other with the Papal Flag; Patriotism and Religion. On the face of the arch of the Grotto, inlaid in stone, are the fifteen decades of the Rosary, the official prayer of the Mother of God. The statue is made of Italian White Carrara Marble and was sculptured in Europe. On the face of this little altar there is inlaid a very small cross with was made by the first Indian Convert Father Marquette, the missionary priest who discovered the Mississippi River. The walls of the interior are inlaid with precious stones from all over the world, along with beautiful shells and rare corals.” via DickeyvilleGrotto.comvia DickeyvilleGrotto.com