Saint Louis, Missouri:
The Shrine of Saint Joseph, home to Two Miracles
About the Miracles:
What makes the shrine unique are two separate miracles.
The first miracle dates to 1864 when a German immigrant, Ignatius Strecker, who had been injured in an accident at his workplace and, despite all attempts, he could not be cured and was given about two weeks to live.
It was at that time that a famous Jesuit missionary, Father Francis Xavier Weninger, came to St. Joseph’s Parish to preach a mission on Blessed (now Saint) Peter Claver, who was held to have great intercessory powers with God. Mrs. Strecker happened to attend the service and she was so impressed that she hurried home to encourage her husband to attend the next day.
On Wednesday, March 16, 1864, Mr. Strecker was in such pain that he was barely able to make it to the church. He arrived just as Father Weninger was blessing the congregation with a relic of Peter Claver. Seeing how weak Mr. Strecker was, the priest allowed him to kiss the relic. From that time on, he began to heal and in a few months, he was restored to full health. Mr Strecker died in 1880 as a result of typhoid fever, totally unrelated to his previous condition.
In 1887, after a thorough investigation, the miracle was formally declared authentic by Cardinal Bianchi in Rome. Therefore, it was chosen as one of the two required miracles in the canonization process of Peter Claver, who was canonized a Saint the following year. Thus, St. Joseph’s Church became the only church in St. Louis as a site of an authenticated miracle. It developed a reputation of giving assistance to the afflicted. Peter Claver’s Shrine is in Colombia
Prior to approval of that miracle, a second miracle took place in this church.
Remodeling was taking place in 1866 when a cholera epidemic swept through the city, resulting in hundreds of deaths. The church alone recorded some 20 funerals per day.
The pastor of St. Joseph’s parish called a meeting of the parishioners and encouraged them to make a vow that, if Saint Joseph would intercede for them, they would erect a monument to him in gratitude. From that time on no single member of the families that signed the vow died from cholera.
A special altar was installed in the church in gratitude for the miracle.
About the Shrine of Saint Joseph:
The Church is owned by the Diocese of Saint Louis, but is leased to the Friends of the Shrine of Saint Joseph.
The have regular Sunday Masses, First Friday Masses, and also host Weddings. In addition they have two special devotions:
St Padre Pio devotion every second Sunday of the Month prior to the 11:00 a.m. Mass and and Seven Sundays of Saint Joseph After the 11:00 a.m. Mass seven Sundays preceding the feast of St. Joseph March 19.
Individual tours are available every Sunday after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Group tours can be arranged through the office. A donation is asked for the tours ( and greatly appreciated).
Traveling to the Shrine of Saint Joseph in St. Louis, MO:
Address: 1220 North 11th Street, St. Louis, Missouri 63106
GPS coordinates: 38° 38′ 14.3052” N, 90° 11′ 33.1872” W
Tel: +1 (314) 231-9407
Click here for the official website of the Shrine of Saint Joseph in St. Louis, Missouri