Shrine and Garden of Our Lady of Mariapocs | 409 6th Avenue
Stella, Property Development and Event Production is honored to have created this representation of an Eastern European Roadside Shrine Garden for the Cambria City National Historic District.
The prominent feature of the garden is the Shrine to Our Lady of Mariapocs. This icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary was chosen for its cultural significance and connection to the heritage of Cambria City.
The icon, originating in the city of Mariapocs, Hungary, faces the site of the former St. Emerich’s Magyar (Hungarian) Roman Catholic Church.
The original Our Lady of Mariapocs icon is also of great importance to the Carpatho-Rusyn and Byzantine Catholic people of Hungary. She is invoked for the unity of all people, but especially the Latin and Byzantine Rites of the Catholic Church, both of which are present in Cambria City. Parishioners of both parishes, St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic and Resurrection Roman Catholic, frequent the Shrine.
Click here for information on the history of the original Icon and Shrine in Hungary.
Many of the original immigrants who founded St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church were from the area of Hungary around Mariapocs. There are currently descendants of immigrants who lived in the village of Mariapocs living in our neighborhood to this day.
The sign above the gate of the garden is the city crest of Mariapocs, Hungary.
Our Lady’s Peach Tree
A very special part of the garden is Our Lady’s Peach Tree. It has become a part of the beauty of Mariapocs, dedicated to Our Lady and graced with a print of Joseph Michael Stella’s painting, The Virgin*. The white peaches are harvested and freely shared with visitors to the Shrine and churches around our region to be blessed and distributed. It symbolizes the grace of harvest and blessings being shared with others.
In 2019, over 1000 peaches came from the tree. While a late frost killed the peach buds in 2020, the tree produced three offspring that are now being nurtured to create a row of Our Lady’s Peaches.
*The Virgin is a painting that enshrines the Blessed Mother with peach blossoms and other flowers. The artist’s name is special since it shares our company’s namesake, Stella, and her husband’s name, Michael Joseph. A sign of things that are meant to be.
The Grotto of the Infant Jesus of Prague
The Infant of Prague is a cherished devotion across many cultures. Inspired by a visit to the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa, this grotto has been lovingly built and created from a myriad of bricks, rocks and glass from various important buildings and locations, including the Casimir Cultural Center (the former St. Casimir’s Polish Catholic Church), the former St. Brigid’s Catholic School in Lilly, and brick that survived the fire at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Lilly in 1971.
The Flowers of the Garden
Everything at the garden has been repurposed. It was created from items that were discarded and rejected…old brick, wood, statues, etc. Even many of the plants started from pieces that were broken or not well. It was built and now maintained with great love, intention, and care.
It is a living reminder from the Blessed Mother, that although we all struggle, feel broken or at times feel rejected…we are never alone. Feeding our hurt or anxieties with peace and the presence of God heals us and brings about new and abundant life. She guides, nurtures and comforts many here just as any mother would for her children. She never leaves you. She never forgets you. She never abandons you. We hope that when you visit Mariapocs, you feel the loving, warm, comforting, strong and peaceful embrace of a Mother.
We hope you find peace.
Chad Pysher and Steven Biter, owners
Stella Property Development and Event Production and the Shrine and Garden of Our Lady of Mariapocs
The Mariapocs Garden and Shrine is located at 409 6th Avenue in the heart of Cambria City.
It is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Many have found the Shrine as a place of prayer, meditation and peace. It is our hope that you visit and find the same.
Holy Rosary is recited every Thursday at 6pm, weather permitting.
The Shrine is privately owned, but open to the public. It is our gift to the community and our way to honor the Blessed Mother and thank her for her constant presence and protection over our lives and our work.
“In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from thy lips, never suffer it to leave thy heart.” – St. Bernard