Grand Coteau, Lousiana: Shrine of St. John Berchmans
About the miracle & museum in Grand Cateau, Louisiana:
Grand Coteau is the site of one of the few recorded miracles to take place in the United States. The convent and school here is the second oldest such institution west of the Mississippi and was established by Saint Philippine Duchesne, who visited here twice.
It relates to an apparition of the 17th Century Jesuit, John Berchmans (1599-1621), who was later canonized. We celebrate his Feast Day on November 26.
In 1866 a gravely ill novitiate at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Mary Wilson, was about to die. Both she and the sisters here at the convent prayed for the intercession of John Berchmans (at that time Blessed John Berchmans, since he had not yet been declared a Saint). She was given last rites and everyone prepared for her death.
But later that day, Mary Wilson reported that John Berchmans appeared to her and, placing his finger on her tongue, told her that her sufferings were over. She was, indeed, cured of her illness. It was this miracle that led to his canonization.
There is a small museum here on the grounds of the Academy of the Sacred Heart dedicated to John Berchmans. Admission is by appointment only, so you would need to make arrangements in advance. The museum is located on the exact spot where the miracle took place.
Be sure to visit the cemetery behind the academy, where you will find the final resting place of Mary Wilson, inscribed with the French word for miracle, as well as the graves of more than 100 religious of the Sacred Heart.
Traveling to the Academy of the Sacred Heart:
Address: 1821 Academy Rd, Grand Coteau, LA 70541
GPS coordinates: 30° 25′ 51.2400” N, 92° 2′ 15.0468” W
Tel: +1 (337) 662-5275
Click here for the official website of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana.
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