Montana Roman Catholics are chomping at the bit to see their dream of easy access up to the monstrous “Lady of the Rockies’ Statue finally realized after the Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration agreed to let an aerial tram cross over Interstate 15, clearing a major hurdle that has stymied supporters for years, and bringing the dream one step closer to reality.
‘Our Lady of the Rockies’ stands 90 ft tall and looms over the city of Butte, sitting atop the Continental Divide. There is a small chapel nearby, where people can go pray and venerate the mother of Jesus. Built in 1979 by Bob O’Bill, it was crafted as a tribute to the virgin mary- done in the likeness of ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’ in honor of his wife recovering from cancer.
The tour guide to the area states that the “base of the chapel” is built on top of the “Star of David” and has over 17,000 names of women inscribed inside the chapel. On the way to the shrine are trees planted “in memory of a loved one” with their name’s placed on a “silver placard” below each tree.
There is a sign in the Chapel that touts “Our Story” that reads “The project to build the statue began in 1979. People from all walks of life and every religion worked to pave the way for the statue, made in the likeness of Mary, Mother of Jesus. Our Lady of the Rockies is entirely non-denominational and was dedicated by workers to women everywhere but especially mothers.”
Despite the informational placards explaining that the statue is “non-denominational,” it’s difficult to see how that could be, given the subject matter and deep history of involvement that many builders specifically credited Mary for. This is akin to building a statue in the likeness of Jesus but then claiming it has nothing to do with Christianity. While a small minority might grant that, most won’t, and for local Roman Catholics, this is holy ground. Mary is worshipped here, and any efforts to make that easier and make her more accessible will be supported.
Matthew Sewell of Churchpop recounts a series of supposed “miracles” that were believed to have accompanied the construction, with credit going to Mary for her divine intervention including:
- When panic set in with how the crew would pay to fuel up their seemingly abandoned and donated heavy equipment, every tank was found to be completely filled with gas.
- Each one of Leroy Lee’s welds when constructing the statue were inexplicably perfect, as he recounts in the documentary made last Christmas.
- On the day of completion, when Mary needed to be flown to the top of a normally gusty and windy East Ridge, the air was eerily and peacefully calm, with no wind to speak of.
Monetary donations are what keep the abomination flowing, and much more will be needed to see their dream realized, with organizers estimating that between 10-12 million dollars will be needed to see their vision for a tram come to fruition after nearly 40 years.
“Satan comes disguised as an angel of light” and an object of veneration comes as an object of worship. We should not wish that this monstrosity gets more visitors. We are to worship no one but Jesus Christ, and all other pagan activity, including the worship of saints, is strictly forbidden.
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