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Statue of Our Lady to Be Regilded

Nicole Patterson

Golden Mary

Last spring President Tim Trainor placed the colorful crown of flowers atop the golden statue of Mary during the annual May Crowning at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. There, above the 95-foot Pangborn Memorial Campanile topped with the 25-foot gold-leafed-bronze figure, he discovered Our Blessed Mother was in need of restoration.

A brightly shining beacon of faith and hope to millions visiting the National Shrine Grotto or even traveling on Route 15 or flying overhead, the statue over time has dulled and needs to be refurbished. A further investigation by drone footage confirmed the need for restoration.  

Mount St. Mary’s University and the National Shrine Grotto communities plan to regild the golden statue of Mary beginning in 2021. Fundraising efforts are underway to raise an estimated $200,000 for the necessary work, which will take about two months to completein time for the 2021 May Crowning.

The Pangborn Memorial Campanile, donated by philanthropist Thomas W. Pangborn of Hagerstown, Maryland, was erected in 1964 by Monsignor Hugh J. Phillips, then director and chaplain of the National Shrine Grotto and later president of the university. The golden statue of Mary, once the largest statue imported into the United States, sits atop her mountain home overlooking pilgrims, students and families with her motherly heart.  

The first 200 donors who give $1,000 to the regilding project will be invited to a rededication ceremony and special Mass. For more information or to make a donation, visit 


Nicole Patterson