Mother of Good Counsel
Votive Candle Chapel
The Mother of Good Counsel Votive Candle Chapel is the first stop along the Meditation Trail at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It includes over 700 votive candles which can be lit as a way to offer up prayers to God through the Blessed Mother’s intercession.
The chapel was dedicated by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 2002. In his homily on the occasion of the blessing, then-Bishop Burke said, “The Virgin Mary, under her title of Mother of Good Counsel, bids us to come to her
Son and to learn from Him what we should do”
(cf. John 2:5).
Votive Candle Chapel
The Votive Candle Chapel expresses the unfailing intercession of our Blessed Mother on our behalf. Under her particular care of her role as Mother of Good Counsel, it reminds pilgrims that Mary leads them to Christ, the Wisdom of God Incarnate. It is a fitting place for pilgrims to begin their journey from the Pilgrim Center to the Shrine Church: leaving the Pilgrim Center marks a spiritual journey away from everyday life toward an encounter with the Lord, and the chapel offers pilgrims an opportunity to draw close to Our Lady as they embark on their ascent to her Shrine, which ultimately leads to her Son.
From a distance, the intense glow of candles beckons a warm welcome. The candle rack inside the chapel measures 16 feet high and 12.5 feet wide and contains over 700 candles that pilgrims can request to be lit for periods of weeks, months, or years. The candles are constantly burning to represent the ceaseless prayer of God’s children and of their heavenly Mother for the salvation of our world.
The interior of the chapel is porcelain tile manufactured in Italy, while its exterior is a blend of both field and cut limestone. The spire was custom designed for the Shrine. Stained glass windows honoring Mary under her titles of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Knock, Mother of Good Counsel, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Loreto, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal were created by Willet Hauser of Winona, Minnesota.
Lighting of votive candles is a tradition that goes back to the Old Testament, when a perpetual light was kept burning in temples before the presence of God (Lev 24: 2-4). In the New Testament, it is Christ Who is the Light of the World (John 8:12), and the sanctuary lamp in the church alerts us to the Real Presence of Christ in the tabernacle. At shrines, vigil lamps are lit by the faithful as an act of devotion. The word “votive” goes back to the ancient custom of lighting candles in fulfillment of some private vow (votum). The burning flames are a visible reminder of a prayer intention, allowing the candle to “keep vigil” when the individual cannot be present.
Click Here to light a candle.