The story of a poor pious immigrant named Adele Brise, who was nearly blind after lye splashed in her face, left Belgium with her parents and settled in the American wilderness, which is now Champion, more than 150 years ago.
One day, Brise reportedly saw visions of a woman with flowing blond hair who introduced herself as the queen of heaven and ordered Brise to teach salvation to the children. The actual spot where Brise heard these words was preserved in an underground chapel.
Several years later, the biggest wildfire in U.S. history swept through Wisconsin. As millions of acres were consumed and thousands of lives were lost, believers flocked to the tiny chapel to beg Mary for protection. And in their most desperate hour came pouring rain.
One written account says the people suddenly found themselves in a sea of emerald green surrounded by an ocean of ash, but their shrine and beloved chapel were completely untouched.
Champion residents more or less had the shrine to themselves until this past December, when the bishop of Green Bay made an unprecedented decision to put the Catholic stamp of approval on Brise's vision.
The bishop employed three independent investigators, called mariologists, to confirm the legitimacy of Brise's apparition. After going through an official church checklist -- Did Brise imagine this event? Could it have been linked to mental illness? -- they determined she was telling the truth. Since then, thousands more have flocked to the tiny chapel in hopes of a miracle, including the Andersons.
"We're absolutely convinced of it," Jennie Anderson said. "It's our faith in God, and that's what we believe."