October 7, 1950 to Mary Ann
the Shrine is to be in the form of a heart in honor of My Divine Son’s
Sacred Heart and My Immaculate Heart to entwine with the hearts of men.
The tower should be as a flame of love ascending to God the Father in
Heaven. When walking beneath the tower into the heart of the Shrine,
the sinner should find refuge, the afflicted comfort, with help for all
Christians, hope for those lost and confused, and peace for all men of
good will. From this heart should flow love and prayers from many
souls. My Divine Son is so desirous that all honor Me, first out of
love for Me. Our hearts entwined from the first moment of the
Incarnation. My Divine Son loves Me, for every drop of blood I gave Him
in My womb. This is the love that should flow from the Sacred Spot to
all My children.”
October 7, 1975 - Feast of the
children, I urgently ask you to continue to prepare for the House of
Prayer. It is needed now very badly. … The need is now and it should be
here. The souls who will be wandering, seeking, searching, would need
comfort and guidance and shelter by coming into the House of Prayer, and
then leaving, leave with a heart filled with peace and comfort they
received within those walls. For none of the Saints who have appeared
here will ever leave the House of Prayer without a sentinel there at all
times, twenty-four hours a day and three-hundred sixty-five days a
year. Some Celestial will be within the walls by pairs, to give you
graces and comfort if you are willing to accept them.”
The House of
Prayer is a special edifice, in that it was requested by Our Blessed
Mother and designed by Heaven. Mary Ann Van Hoof was shown in vision,
on numerous occasions, the details of this structure. These details
were presented to Father Albin Martins, a Norbertine Father from DePere,
WI a priest-friend and an engineer. Father Martins was the first to
proceed with the House of Prayer as he worked with Mary Ann’s
instructions from the Blessed Mother.
The House of
Prayer is located in front of the four ash trees where the Apparitions
took place, and is heart-shaped with overall dimensions of about 200
feet long and 130 feet at the widest part. The ceiling will rise to
approximately 61 feet.
The large tower at the entrance has a diameter of 35 feet and
extends upward 150 feet to the base of the Cross, or nearly 165 feet to
the top of it. This large tower also contains the belfry with a large
bell 53 inches high and 44 inches wide, plus one medium sized, two
smaller ones, and one smallest of all. It also has four non-electric
clocks in Roman numerals, each facing a different direction.
The two towers on either side have diameters of 20 feet and are
about 100 feet high. On top of the side tower on the right will be a
statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and on the left tower a statue of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Each 12 foot high statue will look natural
size to the people on ground level.
When completed the House of Prayer will have the exterior walls
faced with Wisconsin ruby-red granite. The blocks will be staggered
with polished and rough-cut faces. On the inside walls all the blocks
will have a polished face.
The ten large heart-shaped stained glass windows will depict each
of the 1949-1950 apparitions of Our Lady to Mary Ann. As one looks at
the main entrance, the large window on your right will depict the first
Apparition in the Van Hoof home on November 12, 1949. Then turning to
your left, the first window depicts the second Apparition in the Van
Hoof home on April 7, 1950. Continuing along the left wall begin
depictions of the outdoor Apparitions in front of the four ash trees on
May 28, May 29, May 30, and June 4, 1950. Circling to the right side
and coming back to the main entrance will be the depictions of the
outdoor Apparitions on June 16, August 15, and October 7, 1950. The
final window honors Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception and back to the
starting point. The stainless steel roof on the House of Prayer will,
as Our Lady stated, “serve as a beacon to planes overhead!”
One unusual and special feature will be the glass-dome ceiling
above the Sanctuary area and the Sacred Spot of the Apparitions. This
glass ceiling has a radius of 57 feet with a high point of 52 feet. The
outside has laminated clear safety glass, with the inside a sky-blue
Arial View of the House of
Floor Plan of the House of
As one enters
the House of Prayer at the main entrance, there will be seen three small
altars with statues inside each side tower to be used for private
Masses. The statues under the right tower will be of Our Lady of
Fatima, Our Lady of Lipa, and Our Lady of LaSallatte. Under the left
tower will be statues of St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Francis of
Assisi, and the Infant of Prague.
Up front one sees the large table-like marble altar with a large
two-sided crucifix suspended above it for both the priest and the people
to view. On the right is a statue of the Sacred Heart and on the left
is a statue of St. Joseph with the Child Jesus. The Sanctuary has both
up and down lighting with a large floor area between the marble altar
rail and the main altar. The bishop’s chair does not face the people,
but faces the altar. On each side of the main altar are two
tabernacles, one for the Blessed Sacrament and one for the Sacred
Vessels and Holy Oils.
Behind the main altar will be a walkway for people to view the
Sacred Spot of the Apparitions through a glass-floor opening. Above the
Sacred Spot the life-size statue of the Blessed Mother will be suspended
from the glass-dome ceiling to represent Her as She appeared to Mary
Ann, with the four ash trees outside in the background. The lower level
of the smooth marble wall behind the altar will have names inscribed of
the priests who have worked for unity through the years.
The main terrazzo-covered floor will have blond pews to hold over
eleven hundred people. With nearly four hundred more pews in the upper
mezzanine areas, the House of Prayer will have seating for about fifteen
Because the House of Prayer is built over the original Van Hoof
home where the first Apparition took place, a statue of Our Blessed
Mother holding the Unity Medal will be located in the pew area marking
the spot where Our Lady stood.
Under the large stained-glass windows on the right side one finds
an enclosed area with pews and a large number of private confessionals.
Above this long confessional enclosure is an upper-level mezzanine area
with additional pews viewing the main floor below.
Along the wall of this right side is displayed the fifteen decade
rosary with six-inch illuminated Hail Mary beads in light blue, and Our
Father beads in red. An explanation of the mystery accompanies each Our
Father bead. The crucifix of the rosary is held in the left hand of Our
Lady’s statue, and the medal depicts Our Lady as She gave the rosary to
Similarly, on the left side one sees another long enclosed area for
the Sacristy with a mezzanine of pews above. Along the wall of this
left side are the Ten Commandments in semi-relief form. Following the
Commandments are the Stations of the Cross in figure form with the
Crucifixion Station located at the Crucifix being held by Our Lady’s
statue. An explanation will accompany each Commandment and Station.
The choir loft connects the two mezzanine areas and contains a
large pipe organ and two harps. There will be a statue of St. Dymphna
on the right side and one of St. Cecilia on the left. The adult choir
will be on one side and the youth choir on the other with a screened
railing encircling the entire choir area.
The solid part of the ceiling will have indirect lighting and will
contain paintings of Infant Mary and her parents, St. Anne and St.
Joachim; three year old Mary and her parents at the Temple; Angel
Gabriel appearing to Mary; Her Espousal to St. Joseph; Mary’s meeting
with St. Elizabeth; the Journey to Bethlehem; the Birth of Jesus in the
Cave; the Flight into Egypt; the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple;
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus at their home in Loretto with Jesus obediently
helping His parents; the Finding of Jesus in the Temple; Jesus
Preaching; the Death of St. Joseph; the Death of Jesus; His
Resurrection; His Ascension; Mary’s Assumption into Heaven; and Her
Crowning by God the Father.
As one reflects on all that the House of Prayer has to offer those
who enter within its walls, the message given to Mary Ann by Our Blessed
Mother says it all: “Oh, how beautiful to enter the Shrine, walk all
around and know more about your religion when you walk out.”
Please pray that we continue to receive the funds and support needed to
complete this project as requested by Our Blessed Mother.