Monday, August 25, was not just another day at the Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne in St. Charles. In fact we had much to celebrate on this, the Feast of St. Louis, as we welcomed Prince Louis de Bourbon and his wife, Princess Margaret and Archbishop Thierry Jordan of Reims, France, as well as Bishop Edward Rice of St. Louis and other distinguished visitors.
Known formally as Louis Alphonse of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, Prince Louis is a direct descendant of St. Louis IX, King of France, and a member of the Royal House of Bourbon.
Archbishop Jordan has special ties to both St. Philippine and to King Louis IX. He is a member of the Jordan and Perier families – cousins of Philippine Duchesne. (Many who met him swear they see a family resemblance to the Saint.) In addition, St. Louis IX was crowned King of France in the Cathedral of Reims, where Archbishop Jordan serves.
Both men are in town for the 250th Anniversary of St. Louis and are participating in several other events, but both made a visit to the Shrine a priority on their itinerary.
Prince Louis and Archbishop Jordan toured the Academy of the Sacred Heart and its small Philippine museum before the Archbishop presided over Mass in the Shrine. The rector of the Cathedral de Notre Dame, Reims translated the Archbishop's sermon, which touched on Philippine's tenacity, prayerfulness and trust in God.
The Society, the Academy, the Shrine of Philippine and the children at the Academy all presented gifts to help the Archbishop remember this special visit to his saint-cousin’s first and last American home.