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Shrine to celebrate 75th anniversary of apparition Saturday

Posted 4/22/22

UTICA — Christ the King Shrine will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the apparition of Jesus as testified by Charles Grestl on Saturday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Church, 1206 …

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Shrine to celebrate 75th anniversary of apparition Saturday

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UTICA — Christ the King Shrine will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the apparition of Jesus as testified by Charles Grestl on Saturday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Church, 1206 Lincoln Ave. The Mass will be followed by a luncheon.

Reservations are required by Monday, April 25, and can be made by calling 315-797-2546 or via email to pegwilson1950@gmail.com.

Born in Utica in 1886, Charles Grestl worked in the knitting mills of Utica and married Lena Neyenhousein in 1907.

In April 1947, Lena was struck with cancer and hospitalized at St. Elizabeth’s. On April 30, following his wife’s cancer treatment, Grestl found himself at Flanagan Road, where Grestl said he saw Jesus. Grestl said these appearances continued around a dozen more times. In one of Grestl’s visions, Jesus “...appeared on a bench carving beautiful angels out of wood.”

Grestl described these apparition to then-Senator James Donovan, Reverend Bishop Walter Forey, of Syracuse, and the late Francis Cardinal Spellman.

In 1961 he discussed the apparitions in a letter to the late Pope John XXII.

In one of these visions, Grestl said Jesus “...requested that a medal be struck containing Christ himself with a laborer, and to have a scapular made with the same picture on it, pamphlets printed with the same picture for worldwide distribution, and say the rosary at each devotion after approval of the shrine.”

In 1949, Grestl was diagnosed with cancer and the night prior to a surgical treatment, Grestl said he saw the Blessed Mother standing before him. Grestl said the Blessed Mother “...asked when approval is given for a shrine to be erected at the place where Jesus visited Charles that this shrine be named Christ the King.”

Grestl died before seeing the completion of the shrine in 1972 on Flanagan Road in Marcy. Grestl was 86. The site was blessed by Monsignor Joseph May on June 14, 1971.

In 1973, 26 years after the first apparition and two years after Charlie’s death, Christ the King Foundation was established by a group of Utica area Catholics.

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