Learn about Philippine Duchesne, the historic church, and Missouri pioneer days
Located in the back of the church near the entry foyer, this is the font from the original 1789 log church and survived a fire in 1836. After the original church burned, the font was brought to the Shrine. The original log church was located one block northeast from here.
Located in the back of the church near the entrance foyer, is the confessional is from the original log church. It was moved to the shrine in 1823 when the shrine was completed.
A confessional is an enclosed stall in a church divided by a screen or curtain in which a priest sits to hear people confess their sins.
Now paid in full, in 1832, the Bishop came to consecrate the church. Consecration is the action of making or declaring something sacred. The crosses mark the 12 spots where the bishop anointed the wall during the ceremony, one for twelve for each apostle. Once consecrated, if the building is no longer a church or a shrine, it must be torn down.
Upgraded in 1880, the present day altar houses the wax figure of St. Valentine. The figure was added during the renovation to house the relics of the St. Valentine. It is believed that the relics were a gift from the King of France to Bishop W. Louis Valentine DuBourg.
Located in the center of the altar, this statue pays tribute to Duchesne, a member of the Society of Sacred Heart Nuns Christ suffered and died on the cross for our sins; his suffering is displayed with a piercing knife and crown of thorns. His loves shines for us with the light around heart.
On the left of the altar stands a statue of St. Ferdinand III, the shrine’s namesake. At 18, Ferdinand became a king in a Spanish region around 1217. In the 1230s, he became king of two additional regions in Spain. He is the patron saint of engineers.
St. John Francis Regis
On the right side of the altar is a statue of St. John Francis Regis, the patron saint of St. Philippine Duchesne. He dedicated his life serving marginalized communities, including bubonic plague victims, assisting the needy, and is best known for his work with at-risk women and orphans.
Infant of Prague
To the left of the entrance to the gift shop is a replica of the Infant of Prague statue. By depicting Jesus as a child, the statue emphasizes Jesus' humanity, and how we are children of God because of the salvation that he brings us. The right hand of the Infant Jesus is raised in blessing, with the left holding a globe to signify his sovereignty.
St. Francis Xavier
Xavier was a companion of Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre, Paris in 1534. He led an extensive mission into Asia and is considered one of the greatest missionaries since Paul the Apostle.