Old St. Ferdinand Shrine


Old St. Ferdinand Shrine and Historic Site is located at no. 1 rue St. Francois, Florissant, Missouri, and is owned, preserved, maintained, and protected by the non-profit organization, Friends of Old St. Ferdinand, Inc. The Shrine and Historic Site consists of four historic buildings on their original locations: the 1819 convent, 1821 church, 1840 rectory, and 1888 schoolhouse.The convent, church, and rectory may be visited for historic tours and religious pilgrimages. The schoolhouse may be used for public or private gatherings. Artifacts from virtually every era in Old St. Ferdinand's history are on display in the museum and throughout the buildings.SignificanceThe site represents a physical link to American pioneer times, the North American Jesuit Missions to the Native Americans as well as the home of Catholic education in the Midwest. The 1819 convent is the site of the first Catholic school between the Mississippi River and Rocky Mountains. The 1821 Church is the oldest remaining church building built between the Mississippi River and Rockies Mountains. It was the home of the region's only canonized Catholic saint, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne.HistoryAround 1767, just a few years after Pierre Laclede and August Chouteau established the fur-trading village of St. Louis, French plantation owners settled in an area they called "Fleurissant."In 1782, August Chouteau named François Dunegant the "Commandant of Fleurissant" and charged him with protecting the settlement from Indian attacks. The Louisiana Territory had been ceded to Spain in 1763 and a 1788 census identified the settlement as "St. Ferdinand" with a population of 40 with seven plantations. At that time, Dunegant issued a land grant to establish a church and priest's residence.


1 Rue Saint Francois St
Florissant, MO


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