The Miracle at the Shrine of St.Joseph, St.Louis and Its Connection to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Mark / Architecture, History / / 0 Comments

This week I am continuing to highlight my “Churches Under God” photographic project by focusing on The Shrine of St. Joseph. St. Joseph was founded in 1843 by Jesuits seeking to serve St.Louis’ population of German immigrants. Land was donated to the Jesuits by Mrs. Ann Biddle for the purpose of building a church.

In 1861 the miraculous healing of a soap factory worker named Ignatius Strecker lead to the canonization of Peter Claver. From my article at

About that time a well known missionary by the name of Father Francis Xavier Weninger, S. J. had traveled to St. Joseph’s to preach. Mrs. Strecker had heard that Father Weninger would be blessing the sick with the relic of Peter Claver after a special sermon. So Mrs. Stecker struggled to get Ignatius to St. Joseph’s Church for the message and blessing. After Father Weninger’s sermon on Peter Claver, Father Weninger blessed him and allowed him to kiss the relic.

Read more about very miraculous recovery in my article at:

On the back wall, the statue of the Blessed Mother Mary intended for the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

In the early 1870’s the Jesuits had ordered a statue of the Blessed Mother Mary for St. Joseph’s Parish from a company in Spain. Also happening around this time in Europe was the Franco-Prussian War. At the same time the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris had ordered a statue of the Blessed Mother Mary as well, but a much more expensive one constructed of higher quality. Fortunately, for St. Joseph’s Parish, the company in Spain was unable to deliver the statue intended for the Notre Dome in Paris due to the war, so the company in Spain shipped that statue of Mary to St. Joseph’s Parish for the same price. All this time that statue has remained behind glass, preserving it for over 100 years.

St.Joseph truly has an amazing history filled miracles and inspiration. Despite the appears of what looks like marble in the photographs of the church, it was actually hand carved wood faux painting by German immigrants in the 1800’s. The beauty of their work is awe inspiring.

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