This was the first book I did in the Monastery. It is available on Amazon either as a Paperback or Kindle. All paperback sales go to support the monastery while the Sisters have graciously allowed Kindle sales to go to me.

Shrine of Safe Return

by Nick J. Elfrink – Leopold, Missouri

In the early spring of 1944, with WWII fully engaged, work on an open-air shrine to be dedicated to our Lady Queen of Peace was begun in St. John’s Parish in the little German/Dutch community of Leopold, Missouri.

To make this an all-parish effort, even the children were recruited to bring in sparkling, quartz-encrusted stones for the walls. Thousands of stones were brought in from the local hills and creekbeds.

Parish craftsmen and builders raised the crenelated walls, laid the flagstone floor, and completed the necessary concrete work. In May of that same year, the shrine of our Lady Queen of Peace was dedicated to the safe return of members of St. John’s Parish serving in the armed forces.

The practice of saying a parish rosary for the intention of world peace and the safe return of the servicemen of the parish was begun at that time. Every evening, as long as weather permitted, dedicated locals would gather about dusk to say a group rosary at the shrine.

Initially 44 names were inscribed in the marble tablets of the altar front, representing the young men serving in WWII.

Since the ending of WWII, a multitude of parish members have served in the armed conflict around the world, through the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.

To this day, the rosary is still recited at the shrine, and to this day not one parish member has lost his or her life while serving our country. There were many harrowing tales of near misses, and some men were wounded, but none of the wounds were life-threatening.

Statue of the Blessed Mother
Quote from the book – 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary