The Shrine is located on the grounds of the Academy of the Sacred Heart at 610 North Second Street in St. Charles.
Philippine Duchesne first came to St. Charles from France in 1818. Her dream was to teach Native Americans but instead she founded a school for the local daughters who needed an education. The girls came to live with the five nuns in their little log cabin which was located, but no longer exists, on the same site as the academy. This was the beginning of Catholic education in the western United States.
In her old age she was allowed to spend a year among the Indians but she could not master their language so she spent her days in prayer for the success of the mission. This led to her Indian name which means she who prays always.
When she died in 1852 she was buried on the grounds of the Academy. Three years later her body was exhumed and entered in a crypt. What is unusual is that her body was in perfect condition. Nearly 100 years later her remains were removed to the chapel where they are today. We were taken on a tour of the grounds and buildings by a volunteer Mary McClure. It was facinating and we enjoyed learning more about this couragous woman.