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Church and Shrine of Mariapoch, Burton, OH

It is said that those who believe in miracles need no explanation. And to those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.

This is true story of a centuries-old miracle that occurred in Europe and had ramification right here in Burton, OH.

In the year 1696 Hungary was a chaotic, despairing nation. Overrun by the rough heel of the Turks, her people were dying of starvation and epidemics. One day in the tiny village of Povch ( pronounced – “poach” ) incredible news brought people running to the church. An Icon – a Greek painting of the Most Holy Mother of God – appeared to be shedding tears.

For eighteen days this phenomenon continued. Crowds streamed from neighboring villages to see and pray before the Miraculous Icon of the Blessed Mother. Many miracles of healing occurred among the devout worshipers and finally the ecclesiastical authorities came and put the entire matter under close investigation. After some argument and cross examination of witnesses they could only conclude that there was no natural explanation for the tears.

Eventually the Turks were routed from Hungary and the obscure little village became a center of Catholic culture. To honor the Weeping Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God the town’s name was changed to Mariapoch. An even greater honor later took place in 1948 when Pope Pius XII raised the twin-spired stone church to the rank of minor Basilica.

No matter how far from home they traveled, the Hungarian people revered this place of worship. And those who came to this country and settled in the Cleveland area dreamed of someday honoring the Weeping Icon of the Blessed Mother with their own shrine.

An American counterpart of Our Lady of Mariapoch does exist. Located off Route 422 in Troy township among the rolling hills of Geauga County, it is very similar to the one in Hungary.

This is a beautiful (serene, peaceful, or quiet) wooded area on the East Side of Cleveland south of Burton in Welchfield, Ohio. It was purchased in 1955 through anonymous donors wanting to give honor to Our Lady of Mariapoch. It was dedicated in August 1956 by Rev. Bishop Nicholas T. Elko, D.D. The Byzantine Catholic Diocese dedicated the grounds and pursued the intentions of the donors. Through the dedicated services and resources provided by faithful contributors and the Social Mission Sisters the grounds have been developed for pilgrimage.

Prayer, contemplation, and thanksgiving to Almighty God and Our Most Holy Mother of God are always needed. World, local and personal ungodliness of turmoil, conflict, power struggles, unnecessary premature death of the unborn, abuse of children and women with the general destruction of Christian standards and society are continually and increasingly taking place. These dedicated grounds serve as a refuge of safety (security) being surrounded by nature and visual reminders of sacred acts and people. They are examples of devoted serve and dedication of living life with the faith, love, hope, and endurance to reach the final goal - Eternal Life with God. These are things we are to focus on…

“Dismiss all anxiety from your minds. Present your needs to God in every form of prayer and in petitions full of gratitude. Then God’s own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus.

Finally, my brothers, your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:6-8.

Open to visitors from the first Sunday in May to the last Sunday in October, Our Lady of Mariapoch is one of the largest Hungarian shrines in America and draws worshippers from all over the United States and Canada. Thousands of people of every nationality come in annual pilgrimages.

And then there are the quiet hours on the grounds where rare and timeless mood prevails.

© 2013, Copyright
Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch.
All Rights Reserved.
Shrine and Church of Mariapoch
17486 Mumford Rd.
Burton, OH 44021

Updated April 6, 2013