Sunday, August 7, 2016

St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Lousiana

I love to visit churches. I once loved to visit castles but today churches appeal to me. I wonder at the inspiration that has given rise to such extraordinary architecture. I love the church art too. Mostly I love to sit and pray where thousands sometimes millions have come through the centuries to meditate and find communion with God alone or together.
St. Louis Cathedral has seen so much.  It’s the oldest Catholic Church in the USA.  The original place of worship was 1718 with the permanent St. Louis church at the present site since 1727.  Destroyed by fire in 1788, the Spanish church was completed in 1794 then the present church was built over the Spanish foundations and completed in 1851.  I loved the Fleur de Lis.
When I arrived for mass a wedding was taking place. I felt badly as an intruder but sat quietly until I could escape and return. But it was a blessing to see the handsome groom and beautiful bride joined in the sacrament of marriage by the priest, their whole community of friends and family so well dressed and gathered for just this occasion.  Later I came back and I gathered mass was cancelled but I was able to take photographs and light some votive candles as well.
The gift store was open and I purchased yet another rosary.  I also bought a stature of St. Joan d’Arc. Her statue was in the church and the lovely woman in the shop told me of the great statue of St. Joan d’Arc gifted to the town by France.  “St. Joan D’Arc is a special saint of New Orleans,” she told me.
General Jackson, greatly outnumbered by a British force of 10,000 won the battle of 1815 , though the war of 1812 was over by that time. Later he went to the Ursuline Convent Chapel to thank the  the nuns who had prayed all night on behalf of New Orleans.
I received a prayer from the lovely lady there which reads as thus:
“O Jesus, eternal God, I thank you for your countless graces and blessings. Let every beat of my heart be a new hymn of thanksgiving to you, O God. Let every blood circulate for you Lord. My soul is one hymn in adoration of your mercy. I love you, God, for yourself alone. Amen.
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