The Sorrowful Mother Shrine was founded in 1850 and is the oldest Marian Shrine in the Midwest and east of the Mississippi River. It was founded by a missionary priest of the Most Precious Blood, Fr. Francis de Sales Brunner. He built a small red brick chapel to the Sorrowful Mother because of his great devotion to Mary who guided him and his priests from Germany and Switzerland safely to the US. The shrine has undergone many changes including a fire in 1912 which destroyed the original statue of the Sorrowful Mother brought from Germany. There are over 30 grottos amongst the 120 acres that are open to visitors.