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The Hidden Treasure on Rue St. François

old st ferdinand convent vof

When you picture an outdoor carnival, this is probably not the image that comes to mind. Sometimes, you get lucky.

Beyond the games at the annual Valley of Flowers festival sits an historic church and school. Unlike my carnival attempts, Old St. Ferdinand Shrine was a winner. It’s filled with unique and curious artifacts documenting the area’s Spanish/French heritage.

If you were wondering where to see a wax replica of St. Valentine holding actual relics of the saint, you’re in luck. Walk a few steps and you’ll find a classroom as it looked in the 1800s. And an old schoolhouse with a collection of nun dolls dressed in traditional garb. Everything is in order at this extraordinary site in old town Florissant, just north of St. Louis.

Let’s take a look . . .

Saint Valentine relics at Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, MO just north of St. LouisAt the altar, a wax figure of St. Valentine holds relics from the saint.

stained glass old st ferdinand shrine vofGorgeous stained glass

school room at old st ferdinand shrineI’d enjoy studying in this classroom.

tres heureux school room at St. Ferdinand Shrine“Pere Keller a un sourire tres heureux.” Who doesn’t love a happy smile?

Over 100 nuns on displayWhat a nunderful world in the old schoolhouse next door!

an old boat and mocassins near the nunsHistory is everywhere. I was distracted from the nun display by this fantastic old boat.

step back in timeI didn’t want to leave.

shrine mural vofAnother shrine sighting a few blocks away on St. Francois street. Beautiful mural!

old st ferdinand shrine beyond the carnivalAs seen from the Ferris wheel, history peeks from behind century-old trees.

The fair was good, but seeing the Shrine and some of its treasures was really great. Grab a ride and head north to visit Old St. Ferdinand Shrine.