About Saint Mary of Victories Catholic Church:
One of the oldest…and certainly one of the most beautiful…churches in Saint Louis, Saint Mary of Victories was founded in 1843 for German immigrants and later became the city’s Hungarian Catholic Church and cultural center in 1956, after many fled from Communist rule during the Hungarian uprising that took place that year that was ruthlessly put down by the Soviet Union.
In 1974, the famed Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, who had been imprisoned and tortured by the Communists in Hungary, visited St. Mary of Victories. This made national news at the time. Following the visit, the Hungarians lovingly named the hall Mindszenty Hall.
Its acclaimed architecture, beautiful old paintings, ornate statuary and noted historical personalities have earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
It has a magnificent high altar with hundreds of sacred relics, including a fragment of the True Cross, contained in a rare reliquary case that resembles a Monstrance. With it are four other relics of Christ’s Passion: a thorn from His crown; a particle from the sponge that was lifted to His face during His Crucifixion; a small part of the pillar where He was scourged; and a particle of the stone taken from the Holy Sepulcher, where His body was placed after His death.
Other separate relics from Saints displayed in the statuary or paintings in St. Mary’s include – all the Apostles; a fragment of the veil worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary (patroness of the parish); pieces of the mantels of St. Joseph; St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Agnes, and (since 1957) St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Emeric, and St. Margaret.
It was in St. Mary of Victories that Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R., made his Missouri preaching debut. The church is honored to have a first class relic of Fr. Seelos, as well as one of the five known death masks made of the holy priest at his death. You will find his shrine in New Orleans, Louisiana where he spent most of his priesthood.
There are Masses primarily in English,, although some Hungarian is sprinkled in, plus Saint Mary’s accordingly offers a plentiful use of Latin, Gregorian chant and other traditional options.
Church tours are given after each Mass (9 am and 11 am Sundays) upon request. Tours are free, but we welcome donations to help with the upkeep of this historical church. The tour will cover the historical and artistic aspects of St. Mary of Victories.
Small and large tour groups are welcome at St. Mary of Victories. If you’d like to schedule a tour visit, please e-mail them at [email protected].
Finding Saint Mary of Victories Catholic Church:
Address: 744 South Third Street (Gratiot and 3rd), St. Louis, MO 63102
Tel: +1 (314) 231-8101
email: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of Saint Mary of Victories Catholic Church.