Celebrating Saint Louis
Posted in Events on October 24, 2014

The year 2014 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of St. Louis, MO, where the Institute’s St. Francis de Sales Oratory is located. Coincidentally, this year also marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of King Louis IX of France, a saintly king who was canonized in 1297 by Pope Boniface VIII. King Saint Louis is a popular saint well known for his exemplary governance, his generous care of the poor, his personal sanctity, and his patronage of the arts.

For a city that bears the saint’s name and enjoys his patronage, this is indeed a year to celebrate! Throughout the year, festivities were held by many civic, secular, and Catholic institutions to mark the development and achievements of this city. The Institute’s Oratory contributed to the city-wide celebration this past Sunday, October 19, with a solemn liturgy to honor the holy patron of St. Louis.

Led by His Grace, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, the clergy of the Oratory and 300-plus faithful honored King St. Louis with a procession of his sacred relic. In the presence of media cameras and many onlookers, the procession wound about the neighborhood streets adjacent to St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Once inside the Oratory, the relic was placed at an honored place at Our Lady’s Altar, and His Grace gave his sermon. The Archbishop focused on the 250 years of Catholic St. Louis, and its reputation as “Rome of the West” because of the many religious communities that have played (and continue to play) an important role in this city’s history. The Archbishop further exhorted the congregation to follow the example of the patron saint of the city, a leader who “showed his people how to deal with one another justly, and taught his children to be filled with a special love for the poor.”  

The celebration then continued with Vespers and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament: in honoring the saintly King Louis IX of France, we once again paid homage to the King of Kings – Our Lord Jesus Christ.   

The evening ended with a joyful and festive reception in the church hall, where many faithful gathered to greet the Archbishop, and to celebrate a noteworthy milestone in Catholic history, a milestone that drew together a saintly Old-World French king, missionaries to the New World, and our present day work toward a future filled with hope and charity.

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