The 28th International Eucharistic Congress, hosted by Cardinal Mundelein, was celebrated at various locations in Chicago and vicinity from June 20-24, 1926. Delegations of clergy and lay people came from many parts of the Catholic world, including from Slovenia. Most Rev. Anton Bonaventura Jegliè, Bishop from Ljubljana came, accompanied by the Franciscan Provincial, Fr. Regalat Čebulj and other clergy. The Lemont Franciscans invited the Bishop to come and crown Lemont's Marija Pomagaj after the congress ended. After his acceptance, the great event was scheduled for Sunday, June 27, 1926.
On the hill where there was a pond fed by spring waters (the present lake Bled by the Marian grotto in Baraga park) the friars and men built a wooden structure 24 feet by 40 feet, with an opening in the middle of one long side, the width of an altar, so the Mass could be celebrated under a roof and the people could stand or sit outside and be able to see the proceedings. The crowning of Mary and Jesus would take place in this building.
On Saturday evening, June 26, the following clergy arrived: Bishop Jeglič, Fr. Regalat, Rev V. Kragl from Fram near Maribor in Slovenia, and Rev Cyril Zupan, O.S.B., from Pueblo, Colorado. The following morning more clergy showed up: Very Rev. Michael Opeka, Cathedral Canon from Ljubljana, Rev. Ivan Štrajhar, pastor in Borovnica, Slovenia, Rev. Simon Lampe, O.S.B., Indian missionary in red Lake, Minnesota, Rev. John Smoley, pastor in Calis, North Dakota, and Rev Casimir Zakrajšek, pastor of St. Stephen's and once again the Commissary Provincial. After Mass had started, Rev. John Plevnik of St. Joseph's in Joliet and many of his parishioners also arrived.
Reports emphasized that the weather was very beautiful. The ceremonies began with a procession from the church to the building on the hill, led by men carrying various society and altar banners. The med and boys came next, followed by the St. Stephen’s church choir, named Adria and directed by Mr. Ivan Raèiè. Next came the clergy, followed by four vested deacons carrying the paintings of Marija Pomagaj. The bishop and his escort came next, with the women and girls as the tail of the procession. All prayed and recited the Rosary as the choir also sang, probably between the decades of the rosary.
Bishop Jeglič began the celebration of Pontifical Solemn High Mass. After the reading of the Gospel, he gave the sermon. Of course, the main topic centered on Mary Help of Christians, on Marija Pomagaj. In 1907 he had crowned the original painting in Brezje, Slovenia; now he would crown the Mother and Child in the copy in Ameriške Brezje. On both occasions, the same artisan, Mr. Kregar of Ljubljana, made the crowns.
The high point of the day was at hand. The Bishop ended his sermon. He blessed the crowns, and then placed them on the heads of Mary and the Baby Jesus on the painting.
Mass continued to its conclusion. After Mass, Fr. Casimir spoke in Slovenian, Slovak and English. The procession formed again and returned to the church, where the vested deacons placed the painting of Marija Pomagaj in its place on the side altar.
After lunch and the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Bishop also blessed a painting picturing the death of St. Joseph, painted by John Gosar of Betlehem, Pa, and donated by him. Various priests and some lay leaders gave speeches on the hill in the afternoon.
When the new brick seminary building was completed in 1939, the painting of Marija Pomagaj was placed above the main altar of the seminary chapel, where it remains to this day. Former church sacristan, Jaka Praprotnik, took the painting down and Lilijan Brulc, an artist from Joliet, restored the painting to its original brilliance. Former parish sacristan, Jaka Prapotnik reported that the date 1924 was found on the back of the picture. Marija Pomagaj, prosi za nas, Mary, Our Lady of Brezje, pray for us.