Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Shrine of Saint Joseph: Church of Miracles

The Shrine of St. Joseph is an extraordinary Catholic shrine in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The majestic and stately appearance of this 19th Century architectural treasure is almost breath taking. The handcrafted wooden statues stand guardians of the historical richness, which is both extraordinary and miraculous.

Since 1864, this church has been the Church of Miracles. A German immigrant, Ignatius Strecker, was healed from terminal illness after he venerated a relic of Peter Claver. This miraculous healing led to the canonization of Peter Claver as a saint of the Catholic Church. Two years later there was another miracle at the church, and then another, and another. How many more miracles have taken place in connection with this church over the past 150 years, no one knows.

Many of this church's supporters say the fact that St. Joseph's is still standing today is a miracle in itself. It has survived declining parish membership, neglect, urban decay, vandalism, and acts of violence within its wall. More than one hundred years after the first miracle, a group of five men began an effort that would ultimately save this church. "The Shrine of St. Joseph: Church of Miracles" is a moving testimony to the faith and commitment of the Friends of St. Joseph to preserve this historic landmark church in a downtown St. Louis neighborhood that is also being rebuilt.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

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