November 16, 2023
When I went to St. Louis at the beginning of October for a wedding, I had some time earlier in the day to visit a few beautiful churches in the area. I didn’t hit ALL of them, as St. Louis is just FULL of gorgeous churches. It has been called the Rome of the West because of its number of stunning churches as well as the sheer number of missionaries that were sent out to spread the faith in the American West.
St. Louis is only a 5 hour drive from us and I can’t wait to go back and visit more of what this amazing city has to offer! If anyone is looking for a Catholic wedding photographer in St. Louis, please reach out! We’d love to come back and capture another wedding there!
This was probably my favorite church I visited. The St. Francis de Sales Oratory is run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. When I walked in, its beauty took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. It felt both majestic and yet familiar, like coming home.
The detail on the ceiling, the intricate details in the stained glass, the carved peaks of the pulpit and high altar, there was so much to take in as I sat there and prayed. I would love to attend Mass here and photograph a wedding too! Our family is big fans of the Institute’s priests! We first encountered them in Detroit at the Shrine of St. Joseph (another church we would love to photograph a wedding in!) If you’re in St. Louis, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this church! You won’t be disappointed!
The Shrine of St. Joseph wasn’t initially on my list of churches to visit but I talked with another family who was also visiting churches in St. Louis and they recommended I check it out. I walked in and Mass was just ending. The priest mentioned at the end of Mass that the altar off to the right was the ‘Altar of Miracles’ and there was an amazing story behind it! There was a relic of then, Bl. Peter Claver and a member of the parish prayed for her husband to be healed through his intercession. He was miraculously cured and his miracle was used for the canonization of St. Peter Claver. That relic is still in the church and I was able to pray in front of it, asking for St. Peter and the other amazing Jesuit saints of the past to pray for our church.
The Old Cathedral of St. Louis is now called the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France and it is located right next to the iconic St. Louis Arch. I was running short on time so I wasn’t able to spend much time here. But I did notice that it reminded me of the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, KY. This Basilica was the first Roman Catholic Cathedral west of the Mississippi River. From 1826-1843 the Archdiocese of St. Louis extended from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean and many missionaries traveled west from there to evangelize the western US.
And last but not least is the new Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. This majestic Cathedral Basilica is both impressive on the outside as well as the inside. Walking up I was struck by its size and beautiful dome. This was the number one church everyone recommended to me to visit and it did not disappoint. I walked in and my jaw dropped to the floor. It’s hard to even capture this church in photos. It’s immense, detailed, colorful, and brilliant. It literally sparkles inside! Floor to ceiling, the entire inside is covered in mosaics. It has the largest collection of mosaics in the Western Hemisphere!!
There are saints and the story of the evangelization of the US detailed in the walls and ceilings. There are stories from the life of Jesus all throughout the arches and dome. I spent over an hour just walking around and praying. I could have spent more. There’s just so much to see! I didn’t have time to go down to the museum below but next time I’d love to visit! This church would be a DREAM to photograph a wedding in, definitely a bucket list location!
If you’ve been to St. Louis, what other churches would you add to this list? Let me know below so I can visit them next time we come to St. Louis! And if you’re getting married in St. Louis, please reach out, we’d love to chat!!
See a wedding in St. Louis HERE
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