The riotous spirit that swept America last summer included targeting for destruction statues of Catholic saints. In St. Louis, the city's name and its namesake statue came under attack. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb brings us up to date on the statue's status.
For the past year, rain or shine, faithful Catholics have been kneeling at the towering Apotheosis of St. Louis, praying the Rosary for its protection. Until the completion of the Gateway Arch in 1965, the 40-foot statue of the 13th-century French King Louis IX was the unofficial symbol of the city once known as "the Rome of the West."
But last June, progressive activists announced their intention to pull down the iconic statue. When faithful Catholics and other Christians gathered to show their support for the city's saints, activists were there. A loosely organized group of Catholics vowed to protect the statue by gathering in Forest Park every night until the celebration of the feast of St. Louis on August 25.
Following the feast, Catholics continued their vigil, gathering weekly at the feet of St. Louis ever since. Once a meeting place for artists, journalists and tourists, the statue has become a prayer destination.
St. Louis rosary participant Nicholas Kalinowski: "It's a great culture that's kind of popped up in St. Louis. It's like if someone wants to go pray a Rosary at the statue, everyone knows what that means."
Rosary organizers are hoping for an even greater turnout for this year's procession on the feast of St. Louis. The feast of St. Louis also marks the one-year anniversary of Mitchell Rozanski's tenure as archbishop of St. Louis.