St. Rose of Viterbo Convent

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Mary of the Angels Chapel
Interior of the chapel
St. Rose of Viterbo Convent is located in Wisconsin
St. Rose of Viterbo Convent
St. Rose of Viterbo Convent is located in the United States
St. Rose of Viterbo Convent
Location901 Franciscan Way, La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States
Coordinates43°48′14″N 91°14′37″W / 43.80389°N 91.24361°W / 43.80389; -91.24361Coordinates: 43°48′14″N 91°14′37″W / 43.80389°N 91.24361°W / 43.80389; -91.24361
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectLiebert, Eugene R. & Leibig, Adolph
Architectural styleRomanesque
NRHP reference #06000204
Added to NRHPMarch 29, 2006
Altar featuring Tadeusz Żukotyński painting
Facade of the convent

St. Rose of Viterbo Convent is the motherhouse of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, an American religious congregation, which is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The convent is dedicated to Rose of Viterbo, a 13th-century Franciscan tertiary who was a noted mystic and street preacher in Italy who died while still a teenager.[1]

The convent contains three chapels, of which one, Mary of the Angels Chapel, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places of the United States.[2] Another, the Adoration Chapel, is the site of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which has been an uninterrupted practice of the Sisters since August 1, 1878.[3]


The central portion of the convent was built in 1871, when the Sisters moved their motherhouse from Jefferson, Wisconsin, at the invitation of Michael Heiss, Bishop of the newly established Diocese of La Crosse.[3]

The convent was initially built both as the administrative center of the congregation and also as a secondary school for girls. With the growing numbers of members of the congregation and of the student body, two wings were added to the initial building which were completed in 1914.[1][4] The original building was gutted by fire in 1923 and had to be rebuilt, which took two years.[3]

Mary of the Angels Chapel[edit]

The Sisters built the first Chapel of Mary of the Angels (Latin: Maria Angelorum) to serve their own spiritual needs and that of their students. It was dedicated on August 2, 1873, the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Assisi, Italy, the first home of the Franciscan Order. In 1903, they began construction on a new chapel, designed by Eugene R. Liebert, which was completed on August 2, 1906.[1] Thaddeus von Zukotynski was the artist for the oil-on-canvas painting located immediately above the main altar of the chapel. This work shows St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order, at prayer in the Porziuncola, having a famous vision of Jesus and Mary in which he was granted the Porziuncula Indulgence.

This chapel, along with the Adoration Chapel, have over 100 windows of Munich-style stained glass created by the Royal Bavarian Stained Glass Factory in Munich, Germany.[5]

See also[edit]


  • Zimmerman, H. Russell, The architecture of Eugene Liebert: Teutonic style in the American midwest, 2006.


  1. ^ a b c "St. Rose Convent and Villa St. Joseph". Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "FSPA History: Community". Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.
  4. ^ "Maria Angelorum Chapel". Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2008.
  5. ^ "Chapel". Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

External links[edit]

Media related to St. Rose of Viterbo Convent at Wikimedia Commons