Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame Friday, June 23, which was the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
The ceremony took place at 6241 Delmar in The Loop, the location of Saint Philippine’s star and plaque.
Born in 1769 in Grenoble, France, Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne, a Religious of the Sacred Heart, led a mission of five nuns to the St. Louis area in 1818, settling in the then frontier town of St. Charles, where Philippine opened the Academy of the Sacred Heart, the first free school west of the Mississippi. She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1988. Through 2018, the Society of the Sacred Heart is celebrating the bicentennial of St. Philippine’s arrival in the St. Louis area.
During the ceremony, Joe Edwards, founder of the Walk of Fame, presented opening remarks. Sister Sheila Hammond, RSCJ, provincial leader of the United States-Canada Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and Sister Maureen Glavin, RSCJ, head of school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, spoke on behalf of St. Philippine. A ragtime band played before and after the star and plaque were unveiled.
The St. Louis Walk of Fame is a nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Its purpose is to “showcase the cultural heritage of St. Louis and to advance the knowledge, awareness and appreciation of great St. Louisans and their accomplishments.” The Walk consists of brass stars featuring the name of an honoree and bronze plaques with biographical information that summarizes his or her achievements and connection to the city, embedded in the sidewalks of the Delmar Loop. According to Walk of Fame founder Joe Edwards, the plaques distinguish it from similar projects throughout the country and make it educational, as well as entertaining.
Presently there are 150 individuals on the Walk of Fame, from Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau to Jack Buck and Maya Angelou. For a complete list of inductees, visit stlouiswalkoffame.org/inductees.
One hundred twenty St. Louisans serve on the selection committee, including chancellors and department heads of area universities, key people at libraries and arts and historical organizations, the media and other people with a knowledge of the cultural heritage of St. Louis.
The Walk of Fame is free, open all year and easily accessible.
Wording for plaque:
ST. PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, RSCJ
BORN: AUGUST 29, 1769
Born in Grenoble, France, Rose Philippine Duchesne was drawn to a life of religious service. She led a mission of five nuns to the St. Louis area in 1818, settling in the then frontier town of St. Charles, where Duchesne opened the Academy of the Sacred Heart, the first free school west of the Mississippi. A woman of boundless energy, she also opened convents, schools and orphanages in Florissant and St. Louis. At the age of 72, she travelled to Kansas to help establish a school for the Potawatomi tribe, and her piety inspired the name "Woman Who Prays Always." Canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1988, the remains of St. Philippine Duchesne lie enshrined in St. Charles on the campus of the Academy of the Sacred Heart.