National Shrine of Saint Philomena


National Shrine of Saint Philomena is a Catholic Shrine located in Briggsville, Wisconsin

In the late 1940’s a self-sacrificing priest, named Father I.C. Wiltzius, devoted his frail energy to calling the world to venerate a Virgin-Martyr known as Saint Philomena. It was through the efforts of Father Wiltzius that the Shrine to Saint Philomena was established. He came from the Milwaukee area, and brought with him a first-class relic of the Little Virgin Martyr, originally obtained by Father Maurice Dorney in Naples, in 1937.

Saint Philomena made her entry into Briggsville on the last Sunday of August 1947, and the outdoor shrine dedicated to her honor was started on August 8, 1949. It was planned as a replica of the dungeon where the young Martyr-Saint, Philomena, had suffered and died to preserve her virginity.

The upper structure is built of granite from many parts of the world. The red granite, which predominates, is the genuine Montello stone, from Montello, a twenty-five mile distance from Briggsville.

A man of seventy-six and his helper a boy of sixteen completed the structure on September 1, 1950. There are forty-five tons of granite in the superstructure alone, all hauled and laid by the two. Old Jake used a cane to support himself because he was badly crippled…until the fourth day of work…that’s when his “Little Girl Friend”, as he fondly called Saint Philomena, fixed him up, he swears. He discarded the cane and didn’t use it again.


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Location and Contact Information
N565 County Rd A, Briggsville, Wisconsin, United States 53920

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