Old St. Ferdinand Shrine
"Oldest Catholic Church between the Mississippi and Rocky Mountains"
The oldest Catholic congregation in St. Louis was founded in 1770. This
congregation was located at what we know today as the "Old Cathedral" (below the
Gateway Arch). It was originally a log church, then rebuilt in 1776, and later
constructed of brick in 1820. The "Old Cathedral" we know today was built
in 1834. While it is an older congregation, the church building at St. Ferdinand
is the oldest structure surviving by fourteen years.
Visitors coming to St. Ferdinand will notice once they enter inside, that
most of the Church is constructed of logs, with only the exterior and front
section of the building constructed of bricks. It was here on September
23, 1827 in this log church building that Father Peter De Smet (known to the
Indians as "Black Robe") was ordained in the Catholic Church. Father De Smet
became missionary to the Indians and traveled over 180,000 miles across the
|Spanish Land Grant Park, adjacent to St. Ferdinand Shrine, is the old
burial ground for the parish. While some of the graves were relocated
to the new cemetery, the majority of Florissant's founding families still
remain buried here. No gravemarkers are present..
You are the 28473rd Visitor to this Site. This page was last updated Thursday, 17-Jan-2002 10:27:56 CSTby Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Mo.