In the heart of Florissant, MO stands Old St. Ferdinand Shrine a collection of four historically significant buildings that host countless artifacts spanning various eras and locations across the world. An integral part of the founding of Florissant, the Shrine is also famous for housing Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne and Bishop DuBourg during the frontier days of Missouri.
A walk through the shrine is like a walk through time, each and every room is displayed as it was during its phases as an 1800's convent, schoolhouse, and church. The destination is popular for giving visitors the opportunity to experience Florissant back when it was "Fleurissant."
However, a lesser known relic is hidden underneath the church altar. Entombed in 1883, a lifelike wax figurine of St. Valentine resides in a glass sarcophagus. Within the chest of this figurine is a compartment holding a relic of religious importance: Fragments of St. Valentine's hip bone.
It is said that the King of France gifted the bone fragments from the Patron Saint of Love to Bishop DuBourg on account of the Bishop's middle name: Valentine. These bones travelled with Bishop DuBourg after he fled France in 1794 to escape the Reign of Terror. The relics eventually made their way to Missouri with DuBourg, and the shrine has been their home ever since.
If you would like to visit Old St. Ferdinand Shrine, the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff would be happy to give a tour. Tours are offered year round, but it is asked that you make an appointment first.
Old St. Ferdinand Shrine 1 Rue St Francois Florissant, MO 63031