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This provincial shrine to Our Lady of the Prairies is unique in that not only is it located inside a church, but it is also part of the decor of the Place of Assembly in Holy Spirit Church.
The Statue of Our Lady of the Prairies was sculptured in bonded bronze in Florence, Italy. Mary holds a sheaf of real wheat in her arms in the same manner as she would have lovingly and gently held her Infant Jesus. The wheat is a eucharistic Christological symbol because it represents the grains that become the Bread of Life in the Eucharist; it also speaks to us as an essential part of life in the prairies. Mary as a fellow pilgrim is depicted as though walking on the slanted pedestal and protected from the harsh Prairie weather by wearing a mantle cloak.
The shrine was designed by Robert Rambusch of New York, internationally recognized church architect. The backdrop mural by Ronald Millard of New York, illustrates in wood relief carvings and paintings some of the Marian shrines in Saskatchewan. Depicted in the mural are the shrines located at Blumenfeld, Carmel, Cudworh, Kronau, Lestock, Ponteix, Rama, Reward, St.Laurent, and Yorkton, the latter represented by an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help placed in a niche.
The largest of the three bells in Holy Spirit Church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Prairies.
The shrine is the culmination of the dream expressed by the late J.P. Leier, who, in 1957, established the Our Lady of the Prairies Foundation. A private family foundation dedicated to nurturing love and compassion for all creation.
The Our Lady of the Prairies Shrine pilgrimages and Marian symposiums are held on the Birthday of Our Lady, September 8.
Dr. Joseph Lozinsky and Heather A. Kolla, “Mary as Mother” (St. Peter’s Press, June 1987, revised July 1987)
Our Lady of the Prairies Foundation
Saskatoon SK S7H 5P1