Monday, April 18, 2016

Exploring St. Louis, April 2016

Here's a peek at what our family did in St. Louis!

We visited the Cathedral Basilica three times during our visit.  Twice for Mass and once for a guided tour.  We were absolutely blown away by the beauty and could never even begin to capture it with pictures.  There are 41,000,000 mosaic tiles!  Here area  few of our pictures!

Door of Mercy

When we went to daily Mass I was a little disappointed that the tabernacle was not in the sanctuary.  However, when we took our tour, and I thought about the fact that tours like that take place all day long, everyday, I thought the beautiful chapel, next to the sanctuary, was the perfect place for Jesus.  I have never seen a chapel so beautiful, but for obvious reasons, there were no pictures allowed.

We got to see so many of our favorite familiar stories, friends, and role models upon the walls.

Drawing our eyes, upward, to heaven!

 This was used for Sunday Mass!

 The tour guide did a fantastic job of giving the boys "jobs" throughout the tour!  In the picture above they needed to investigate whether the picture of Jesus was a painting or something else.  It was a mosaic.  Below they are identifying the animals on the bottom of the baptismal font.  They each represented evil being crushed by the waters of baptism.

Mass was ultra reverent and full of all the smells and bells.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We were asked to carry up the gifts and I thought I was going to die of bliss.  However, Our Lord had other plans.  We waited a moment too long and some lovely sisters beat us to it!  I was disappointed to the max, but I'll admit I needed a little humbling. I had been highly distracted throughout the whole Mass thinking about how special it was going to be!!!  It was a minor miracle that no screams were released from our five year old who had been prepping the entire Mass for his role in that moment.  To my surprise, he simply whispered, "Hey, I thought we were supposed to do that!"  After Mass, we ran into the sisters (in full habits) on our way to the parking lot and I got a picture of them with the kids. I'm sure it was kind of weird for them to be treated a bit like celebrities.  However, it WAS Vocation Sunday, and it's just not often we get to see holy sisters dressed in their habits!  To us, they are celebrities!

In my opinion, this church was almost as beautiful as the Cathedral Basilica, in its' own way.  Obviously, it was much smaller and a totally different style, but it possessed a beauty that drew my heart closer to Our Lord.  We arrived at the same time as three young men.  Two current seminarians and one former seminarian.  This was a special blessing!  One of them remarked that the sanctuary was a perfect example of what they had just learned a sanctuary should look like.  Serving the purpose of drawing our eyes further and further, up to heaven.  We were hoping for a guided tour, but we did not get one.  So I am not sure what a lot of these things are.  A very interesting story we did read before our visit is here.  There is also and online tour, which we really should have read before going!

St. Cecilia and St. Agnes

St. John Berchmans, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and St. Stanislaus Kostka

St. Joseph, patron of a happy death, pray for us!

Relics of St. Peter Claver

St. Peter Claver:  One of the miracles required for his canonization is linked this this church!

St. Padre Pio

St. Francis Cabrini

Looking out from the top!

View to the west:  Old Courthouse in the center

View to the Southeast

Busch Stadium

View to the Northwest:  Shrine of St. Joseph slightly behind the Edward Jones Dome at America's Center

Hard to believe were just up there!

The Old Courthouse

Inside:  You are able to walk upstairs

One of the Courtrooms

 Dred Scott Exhibit:  Excellent

 Touring the Old Courthouse is free and we were very impressed with the exhibits!

The Polar Bear Exhibit was like nothing I have ever seen!  Amazingly close!

This place was super cool!  

We did not have a guided tour, nor did we stay for very long.  However, we did get to pray our morning prayers somewhere new, somewhere historic, and with Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament!

Springfield, IL

This is located in Springfield, IL, and we only toured the museum, because we were short on time and exhausted.  This museum was fantastic!  I wish we could have spent an entire afternoon there!  Check out the website.  There is so much to share and learn about this museum.  We only tapped into a tiny bit on our visit!  Loved, loved, loved!

The trip was full and exhausting, but I am grateful we had the opportunity to go and explore!

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