The small town of Rudolph, WI is the home of the Grotto Shrine and Wonder Cave. It is centrally located on Hwy 34, ten miles north of WI Rapids. The story behind the man-made shrines is captivating. All the beauty is cared for by volunteers. Donations are welcomed. It behooves me how such a peaceful and inspiring place isn’t a busy tourist destination. This day and age, we all need a little comfort in our hearts.
The layout of the gardens is ingenious. The small pathways lead from one beautiful item to another. A gift shop guards the entrance to the 1/5 mile Wonder Cave. The cave is the only attraction that requires an entrance fee. For adults it is $2.50, children under 11 cost 25 cents, and every penny is used for upkeep. The cave leads you through a religious awakening. The saving quotes and gorgeous statues tell us the stories we sometimes forget. They are reminders of our religious roots and helpful hints of how to live.
The Seven Sorrows of Mary, The Stations of the Cross, and the Ten Commandments shrines are soul igniting. We all pray and serve our Lord differently. Reuniting, with him here, changes our views and inspires change. The museum shows us the background. You walk out of the museum with heightened respect for all those who built this magnificent place.
There is nothing more humbling than walking in Jesus’ shoes. All the pain and suffering he endured on this earth, connects with our feelings and outlooks. It opens the doors for our spirits to grasp onto our savior. It allows us to be soothed and renewed. A rebirth leaps into our entire beings. Where else on earth can you find such peace?
My daughter, Kyann, had her tenth birthday at the shrine. Her father has been removed from our earthly lives for two months. She knew that celebrating at the grotto would bring her spirit closer to his. She has been longing for God’s arms to carry her. She has been praying for her father’s spirit to help her with her grieving heart. Kyann’s faith is stronger than most educated, adult Christians. Her life is in God’s hands, and now she feels the loving arms protecting her.
If you are not a religious individual, but long to satisfy any curiosity in your soul, the Grotto Shrine is your home. They have a special shrine just for you; St. Philomena the saint for the “lost souls” and the suffering. Praying for her help in times of need: money, grieving, and virtually any sufferings you face; brings solitude within. All the garden’s inhabitants are labeled, mapped, and documented to help you find what it was that lead you here.
Bring your pains, questions, and needs to Rudolph. You will be able to leave them behind and celebrate life’s gifts with a renewed spirit. The journey is always more vital than the destination. Keep an open mind and watchful eye. There is so many little things you may miss if you don’t. A wishing well and children’s entrance are just a few of the great secrets this sacred place possesses.