The Story Of The Sacred Heart Shrine
Story of the Sacred Heart Shrine at Duralde, Louisiana
Narrated to Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Joseph Bernard
from a tape recorded by Father Edouard Fontaine, The Founder of the Shrine
It seems that Father
Fontaine had gone on retreat at Grand Coteau, at the retreat house of the Jesuit
Fathers. While there he had a very unusual dream, which he relates in
a message on tape which has just been transcribed from the tape into print:
went on retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House at Grand Coteau, Louisiana. It happened in 1982. Reading
a book by Father Larkin on how to enthrone families to the Sacred Heart, I read
for quite a while, in fact, all afternoon and part of the evening of June 10,
becoming drowsy, as might be expected, I went to sleep, and during that sleep I
seemed to trash out the full meaning of the Family Enthronement to the Sacred
Heart, and as something of an extension of that dream, I could see a shrine in
Duralde in honor of the enthronement of families to the Sacred Heart.
seems the shrine was located in a field, and as I looked upon this field, I
became aware of a large crucifix with the crucified Christ on it, and
surrounding the entire crucifix I could see a large Sacred Heart completely
encircling the crucifix. Strange as
it may seem, the heart opened and closed like a door, and as the heart opened, I
could see the present Sacred Heart Shrine that would later be built in Duralde
and would eventually be blessed on June 21, 1983.
or I might say, as a consequence of the vision of the Sacred Heart, I began to
ponder in my dream
Why a shrine at Duralde?
I can imagine others asking the same question.
At that time, I feel quite sure I wasn't aware of an answer to the
question, Why a shrine to the Sacred Heart at Duralde, Louisiana?
However, it did occur to me that as far as I could recall, there was
absolutely no shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart in the entire United States
from this auspicious dream, I somehow felt that I had been commissioned to
investigate the possibility of building a shrine to the Sacred Heart - of all
places - in Duralde, Louisiana.
I began to muse to myself, again and again, Why a shrine to the Sacred Heart?
After all, the past event was just a dream and it would, at that time,
not seem possible that such a gigantic undertaking should even be thought about
- much less comtemplated as to its possibility.
when I returned from the retreat, I related the entire dream to my housekeeper,
Mrs. Azelie Christ. Her comment, at
that time, was that I should think on it further and study its possibility.
very same evening, on Friday, I celebrated a Mass in Soileau, which is one of my
missions. After the mass, a woman
from Oberlin, Mrs. McCauly came to visit with me in the sacristy.
She handed me a letter from someone I never knew or met, which contained
a check in the amount of $500 from a Mr. Moore from Oberlin, La., given to me to
do with as I pleased. Immediately
the thought flashed across my mind, "$500 to do with as I pleased, could
this be the beginning of the realization of my dream about the shrine to the
Sacred Heart of Jesus?" The
thought about the possibility of having a shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
was so persistent, that I just couldn't dismiss it from my mind, and now this.
Could it be the beginning of the realization of my Grand Coteau dream?
The thought hung in there, and then, as if to further underline my
obsession, the very next Thursday after this very generous donation of the first
$500, I was asked to attend a meeting in Oberlin - a Knights of Columbus
meeting, as I remember. And while
there, I was approached by a gentleman by the name of Simon Sonnier, a Knight in
the Council 3353 of Oberlin.
began by asking the question; "How was your retreat at Grand Coteau,
I replied, it was a very good retreat, but while there I had a most unusual
immediately asked, What was it about?
I replied, while there I had a dream - a rather strange one - that I was
building a shrine to the Sacred Heart at Duralde.
Can you imagine anything so impossible?
thinking such a project to be so impossible, he replied with obvious interest;
I don't think the idea of a shrine to the Sacred Heart at Duralde to be so
strange or impossible. Actually, I
think it's a great idea. You know,
I have a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
with great enthusiasm in his voice, he grabbed my hand in his and said,
"We're gonna build that shrine!!!"
he handed me a $100 bill. Still
shaking my hand, he added, "Let's get started!!"
running briefly through my memory bank, I calculated briefly $500 plus $100
makes $600. That, I knew, was
merely a start, and I wondered out loud, "What am I gonna do?"
answer to the obvious question in my voice, he added, "I'm a contractor, a
general contractor, and if you want me to, I'll build that shrine at no cost to
the parish or to you. All you have
to do is pay for the material and I will build that shrine."
he went on talking as though he was already envisioning a shrine in his mind's
eye. "You know,that is
something I havethought for a long time should be done in honor of the Sacred
Heart - to build a shrine in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
this discussion, Mr. Simon Sonnier and I talked to the members of the K. C. unit
and to others who had gathered around about the possibility of building a shrine
to the Sacred Heart at Duralde. Everybody
seemed very much interested and everyone there seemed to think the idea worthy
of lots of thought. It became a K.C.
project too, of that Council 3353.
the very next day, I happened to have joined a friend at the Eunice Country Club
Golf Course for a game of golf, and while there, I met a gentleman by the name
of Ervin Allen, a parishioner of my mission at Soileau and I asked him this
question: "Mr. Allen, are you
acquainted with a gentleman by the name of Sonnier."
answered, "Oh yes, I know him, he built my house.
He is a contractor -and a good one!"
pressed on; "Do you know what happened?"
I related to him the story about my dream at Grand Coteau, all about the
possibility of building a shrine to the Sacred Heart in Duralde.
continued, and then he gave me $100 and also promised that he would be the
builder of the shrine. Now, what do
you think of that?
no hesitation, Mr. Allen answered: "Who's gonna be your engineer
I said, "I don't know. I'm not
even thinking of building a shrine, and I'm just thinking about what
broke in without hesitation - "Un hunh, and I'll be the architect and the
engineer and it will cost you nothing. And
me and Mr. Sonnier - we will build the shrine!!!"
that much assurance - all more or less unsolicited - I kinda let the subject of
the shrine ride along for a while, just kinda wondering whether the shrine idea
would go away. I had no idea what
lay in store for all concerned. So
follow us into the future.
THE DREAM BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE
events just related seemed to want to rest for a while, and in the meantime,
there was a meeting with Bishop Frey and all priests in the surrounding area, in
Ville Platte, which I attended.
that time, I maneuvered the Bishop to the side and I ventured the question: "Bishop, what do you think about this idea, that I have
from a dream, of building a Shrine to the Sacred Heart in Duralde?"
Frey meditated for a moment and replied. "Well, if you think it's all
right, I'm in favor. Just build
with the Bishop's approval, I kept mulling this in my mind, and upon my return
from the meeting, I asked one of my
trustees: "What do you think about a shrine to the Sacred Heart in Duralde?"
reply came more easily and quickly than I dared anticipate: "That'd be a
good idea. I think we should
finally, I had a meeting of the architect, the engineer, and a few others and we
decided to think about how to go about trying to collect the money to build the
the meantime, it happened that I had to go and see Dr. Savoy in Mamou, because
of a treatment period of checking for the sugar in my body, checking to see
whether or not I was diabetic. So I
went to Mamou to see Dr. Savoy to get permission to get a test - a blood test.
So, at that time he told me, "You have your blood test tomorrow
morning and after your blood test, come in and see me in my office."
naturally, bright and early the next morning, I walked into Dr. Savoy's office
and just as I entered, he greeted me with the words: "I've got a
could hardly imagine Dr. Frank Savoy, Jr. having a problem of any kind.
But after the usual greetings, he invited me to a nice comfortable chair,
hesitated for a moment as if to collect his thoughts, and then he went on to
comment on his problem.
"You know, we have just recently sold the Savoy Memorial Hospital to the State of Louisiana. The State Inspector, making a routine inspection of the premises, noticed a large statue of the Sacred Heart, actually, the size of an ordinary man. The inspector went on to explain that since the Hospital would become a public institution and no longer a Catholic or private institution, it would be necessary to move the Statue of the Sacred Heart to another private location.
further ado, he came out with a heavenly question; "Would you like to have
the Statue of the Sacred Heart?"
was so delightfully surprised that for a brief moment I was dumb, deaf and
blind. Then collecting my senses, I
began to relate to Dr. Savoy the events of the past few days.
Well, Doc, I don't understand what is happening, but already I have
had a dream on June 10, 1982 - not too long ago, which is July - and then I
related how a man had approached me, telling me that he would build a shrine,
another one approached me with a check, and still another one approached me to
tell me that he was an architect and that he would be the architect and the
engineer to build the Shrine. And
now, you come along with a statue of the Sacred Heart, a truly beautiful statue
of the Sacred Heart, with all those happenings in the back of me. I just have to say in answer to your question, "Do I
want the Statue of the Sacred Heart?" - my answer is a great big
it began to occur to me that the Grand Coteau dream about building a shrine to
the Sacred Heart was beginning to come true.
that moment, Doctor Savoy took my hand and shook it, and said, "Well, if
you ever decide to build that Shrine, let me know, because I would like to put
the statue of the Sacred Heart in the shrine - myself."
little episode with Dr. Savoy left me kinda floating on cloud nine.
I decided then and there to bring up the matter with others for lots of
discussion. The occasion presented
itself the very next day.
with a group made up of trustees and other men of the Parish, back home, we
discussed for a long while and to everybody's satisfaction what had happened
over the past few months, and asking ourselves what might be the meaning of the
entire happenings, beginning with the dream at Grand Coteau on to all the
happenings in between.
we formed a committee to help decide what kind of material we were going to use
to build the Shrine, and how much money we would need to build the shrine; and
last, but not least, where we would get the money needed to build such a Shrine.
it happened, with a committee, including Mr. Sonnier, Mr. Allen and Doctor
Savoy, we decided that we would raise the necessary money to build the Shrine by
asking $5.00 per brick. So as many
$5.00 we would collect so many bricks we would be able to buy, then we could
determine what kind of a shrine we could or would build.
THE SACRED HEART HEARS A DYING WOMAN'S PRAYER
at the time that the Shrine Committee had come to the decision that we would
collect funds by selling bricks at $5.00 a brick, I was called to the sickbed of
a woman, a Mrs. Thibodeaux, one of my parishioners.
I went there with the intention of giving her the sacrament of the sick,
but after talking to her for a moment, I decided to give her the Sacrament of
ministering the sacrament of the Sick, I kept up a conversation about the plans
in our Parish to build a shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
listened quietly to my conversation about the Shrine and said that she had heard
about the possibility of having a shrine to the Sacred Heart in the Parish.
she touched my hand and asked: "Father, would you please say a prayer for
me to the Sacred Heart that I could live to see the Blessing of that
assured her that I would pray for that wish of hers.
From the events which followed, I was inclined to think that the Sacred
Heart had chosen not to answer our prayer, but to my utter amazement, he
answered our prayer in a manner that not only pleased me, but I know would have
pleased Mrs. Thibodeaux also.
short while later, Mrs. Daly Thibodeaux died and while I was burying her in
Eunice and during the ceremony, I spoke about her wish - her departing wish -to
live until the blessing of the shrine. As
I remember, I said: "Our
friend's last wish was that she could live to see the Shrine to the Sacred Heart
completed and be able to attend the ceremony of the Blessing of the Shrine, but
since her wish had seemingly not been granted, I believe that now that she is in
heaven, the Saints and Angels are showing her what is going on here on earth
with regards to the building of the Shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus."
FINDING OF THE SHRINE WINDOWS
my words still on his mind, one of Mrs. Thibodeaux's in-laws - whose husband,
Mr. John Hedrick, a non-Catholic who lived in Baton Rouge, had attended Mrs.
Thibodeaux's funeral and having discussed the possibility of helping to build
the shrine with his wife - wound up by suggesting that they should help to build
the Shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
very next morning was a Saturday morning and I happened to be invited to attend
breakfast at the home of a Mrs. Jones, another sister of the in-law's wife and
during breakfast, she told me that she had a surprise for me, a gift from Mr.
Ronald W. Hedrick, the husband of one of Mrs. Daly Thibodeaux's grand-daughters
from Baton Rouge.
handed me a check in the amount of $5,000 - and as the kids would say, I was so
surprised that I just about dropped dead.
Elroy Jones, still relishing my surprised demeanor, added that her
brother-in-law had given the check for the building of the Shrine to the Sacred
were happening so rapidly that I hardly had time to collect my thoughts, when
Mrs. Thibodeaux's daughter, having listened to all the conversation about the
plans and collections for the Shrine, put in her nickel's worth.
know, Father, I have a brother-in-law in New Orleans, John Roger, who has some
stained glass windows in his shed which he would like to give you for the
shrine. Would you like to see them
and perhaps accept them?"
knowing what the stained glass windows might be, I hesitated for just a moment
and as if in apology for not accepting immediately such an unsolicited gift, I
replied, "Would it be all right, if I went and had a look-see at the
windows - to see if they could possibly be used in the shrine?
preparation for the inspection trip to New Orleans, I asked Mr. Ervin Allen if
he would like to come with me to New Orleans to have a look at the windows which
had so graciously been offered.
went in the afternoon to New Orleans and we went to the family's home.
His name is John Roger.
we arrived in New Orleans, at that family residence, we went directly in the
garage, some kind of a shed in the back there, and they were piled up -one up
above the other and he had just cleaned them with the hose.
So that young man, Cajun boy, said to us, "Would you like to see
my goodness, I was so interested, I said, "Yes" right away.
was a beautiful sunshine day- so they put those windows in the sun, while Mr.
Allen was taking the picture of each one. To
my great surprise, the pictures on the stained glass windows - nine of them -
some were the pictures of the North American Martyrs -five of them were killed
in 1642 in Canada, called in Canada, the Canadian Martyrs, three of them
were killed in the United States, called the North American Martyrs.
the five of those that were killed in Canada, there is a shrine in Milton,
Ontario. For the three that had
been killed in the United States, there is also a shrine in their name in
Aurisville, New York on the border of Canada.
you can see, it was a great event, when I saw those windows, and having those
pictures, I was so surprised, as a Canadian, to see those Canadian and American
saints, the first saints to be declared saints by the Pope.
In the forties, I think it was in 1945 that the first American men sent
in 1642 to evangelize the Indians, were killed on this North American continent,
and they were killed by the Indians ... yes in that year of 1945 they were
declared saints - and imagine those stained glass windows are now in the Shrine
it is beautiful, to go and visit it. So
the story continues, after we had seen those windows, we asked that Cajun guy
there to bring them to Crowley at Stan Gaul's plac - Stan Gaul being a master at
doing these kinds of repairs.
happened a month later, maybe a little bit more.
They brought those windows in a truck to Crowley, and when Mr. Stan Gaul
saw those windows, he was so surprised that he asked me where in the world I got
those windows? He said they were
priceless!! He backed off and
looked at each window with wonderment in his eyes:
"Just look at those colors - nothing like them in the world!"
are absolutely priceless", he continued as he studied each window again and
further commented that (being a recognized expert in this field) those windows
were made in Austria.
Mr. Gaul's enthusiasm as being somewhat contagious, I asked the donor where he
had gotten those extraordinary windows.
though not particularly impressed with Mr. Stan Gaul's enthusiasm, the donor
went on telling us in a somewhat monotone telling the story of how he had
acquired the windows. "When I
was a youngster, I worked for a man who worked on stained glass windows in New
Orleans, and he had them piled up in his workshop - nowhere in particular - and
there they had remained for something like fifty years or more."
before his death, this old gentleman told me, Son, if you would like to have
those stained glass windows, they're yours!
You can take them with you wherever you might wish."
I brought them to my garage and here they remained for the past 15 years."
with curiosity, I couldn't help but ask our young donor if he knew where they
had originally been or where they had come from.
by my interest, he continued. "They
used to be in a chapel of the Ursuline Nuns, one of the first religious chapels
in the old City of New Orleans. There
they had remained in the ancient Ursuline chapel for well over 150 years and
perhaps more. And when the chapel
became so old that it was finally to be dismantled, all these lovely windows
went back to this man, who was still putting in windows in many churches, like
the churches in Europe and everywhere. But
strange as it might seem, nobody asked for those old dirty, with cracked lead
surrounding all the pictures, windows. They
were finally brought to Stan Gaul in Crowley to replace the old lead!
Yes, Mr. Gaul repaired them well and fixed them up like new for the price
of $600 for each window. Since
there where 13 of the windows, it simply means that Stan Gaul charged $600 time
13 for the price of repairing those priceless windows.
in our financial condition, I couldn't help but wonder where in the world would
we come up with an amount like that for the repair of those priceless windows.
we decided to call a Committee meeting and see it we could come up with some
decision that might help to pay this enormous amount.
After much discussion, the Committee came up with the idea that we should
ask $500 per person, those persons who would like to have their names put under
those windows that would be put in the shrine.
Then we would ask people - friends around Eunice and elsewhere to give a
donation of $500. After nine months
we collected for the 13 windows needed.
each $500, donation the name of the donor would be placed under the window in
the Shrine. So it was done. But it happened that we collected over what was needed and so
we decided to use steel-aluminum frames to put in the 15 stained glass windows.
I say 15 because two more were added by Mr. Stan Gaul; one commemorating
my dream and the other what the Sacred Heart asked of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
in 1645 in France at the Paris Lemonial Convent: That His picture be in every
home in the world." He made
the stained glass window showing the North American Continent where the Shrines
to the apostles of the Sacred Heart, the North American Martyrs, are.
They were the first to preach the doctrine of the Sacred Heart on this
continent and the first ones to enthrone the Sacred Heart in the North American
families. You can see now those two
windows displayed at the rear of the Shrine.
realize my dream I needed a sign. Some
kind of an event that would push me more to realize it.
So it happened. In January
1983 the then Deacon Paul Breaux phoned me to accept the Statue of Our Lady of
Fatima that was arriving in New Orleans. And
as it had nowhere to go at the time, it came to Duralde for 24 hours.
As I prayed with the parishioners, some took pictures of the Statue of
Our Lady. Her head looks down on
the Statue. But when the pictures
were developed, one shows the statue with her head and eyes looking up.
That was the sign. Mr.
Jessie Breaux, the photographer, convinced me of it.
EVENTS LEADING TO THE BUILDING OF THE SHRINE
all the events leading to the possibility of even contemplating the building of
a shrine at Duralde, this one which I am about to relate, is perhaps the one
that set the initial spark that was from then on to become a fire - a fire that
burns even to this very day.
it or not, Mrs. Azelie Christ, my housekeeper and nurse who takes care of me,
phoned different men and lots of people that she knew in Eunice. And she collected $15,000 which now served to pay all those
windows and the repairs and then the shrine, and then we received through the
mail and from mouth to mouth. It
went very fast among the people. My
relatives and friends, and friends of my relatives friends and on and on,
soon we had received $33,000 in cash money.
So we had a good amount to start the shrine. Mr. Allen, the architect, made the blue prints.
He had to make the blue prints five times before we could have them
approved by the Bishop and the Building Committee of the Diocese of Lafayette.
it was approved and the blue prints were showing that it was good enough for a
125 mile an hour wind. That's what
the Building Committee was asking for, so it's built for that purpose.
So it started with Mr. Sonnier's working men in March of 1983, at last
the building of the shrine had begun, and by the 21st of June of 1983 the shrine
was completed and blessed by the Bishop Gerard Frey, the Bishop of Lafayette,
about now, there were many things going through my mind - all in connection with
the building and the construction of the Shrine.
Perhaps one of the things that stood out in my mind was that in the year
of 1983, something very important and noteworthy happened in the world. As you know, the Parish of Duralde is named Annunciation of
the Blessed Virgin Mother, and the feast is on the 25th of March, so it happened
that in 1983, on the 25th of March, the Pope, Pope John 11, declared 1983 to be
a Holy Year.
it or not, I was so surprised, that when they started the shrine, I said,
"Imagine, in this Holy Year, a shrine to the Sacred Heart, built in
Duralde, would be in commemoration of this Holy Year, pronounced by the
it happened, it was for that purpose too, but also, because it was my 40th
Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood.
So the two events coincided - the 40th Anniversary of Ordination to the
Priesthood and the day the Shrine was blessed.
Because on June 21, 1943, I became a priest, and 40 years later I was
celebrating that consecration of Ordination with the Bishop of Lafayette, with
many priests and over 500 people, dedicating the shrine to the Sacred Heart.
Dr. Savoy, who made the speech, and recalling the purpose of the shrine,
said it was in honor of the Sacred Heart and also to bring in a place of honor,
the Statue that had been in the Savoy Memorial Hospital for thirty years, and
now that it had to be disposed of, it was a beautiful place to rest for the
future generation, who would visit the Shrine to the Sacred Heart in Duralde.
was very pleased, and I thanked Dr. Frank Savoy for that beautiful statue that
had been donated for that purpose.
related to me that the statue had been donated by some of the relatives of his
father and mother to the hospital in Mamou.
It was something that he had at heart, very much to care for and to see
that it was preserved forever.
assured him that it will be preserved forever, and that it will remain, forever,
in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart.
THE STORIES OF THE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS OF THE SHRINE
day, when I was at Mr. Stan Gaul's place in Crowley showing him the windows that
would be in the Shrine, I asked him this question: "Why is it that you say,
'They are priceless'? "
reply came quite naturally - as though he was just waiting to be asked this very
question. "First of all, if
they are 200 years old, they are antiques, and as an antique, you cannot give a
value - they are priceless.
they have been made in Austria, in Europe, and the paintings with the kind of
paint that they used in those days - for the colors, vivid colors - of those
Canadian martyrs, and the other pictures - has been lost, and if it should
happen that those windows are destroyed for any kind of reason, we would never
be able to replace them. So they
are priceless, and he continued, even worth millions of dollars."
that's something that we have to know, for it is a shrine that has much value.
about those window pictures in the back of the shrine that have been made by Mr.
Stan Gaul. After I related to him
about the dream that I had in Grand Coteau, and I drew a picture of what
happened in that dream, he said that I should make a window of that shrine, and
he made it.
is the crucified Christ, and around the center of the Crucified Christ there is
a big Sacred Heart, which at the time of my dream, it opened - and I saw the
shrine, as it is in Duralde, and he made that window - Mr. Gaul himself. He made another one too, on the back of the shrine, and he
asked me what I wanted in that window.
that moment, I didn't know exactly what I wanted, but I thought a while and I
said, you know; "Put the world
in the Heart of the Sacred Heart, because in the book of Father Larkin,
"How to enthrone the Sacred Heart in the Families", he says that a
picture of the Sacred Heart should be in every home in the world.
reason why the Shrine was built, we have to remember, is that the Pope declared
1983 a Holy Year.
why is it a Holy Year? You all know
that the calendar that we have now is based from the birth of Christ, so in the
year zero, Christ was born, then 365 days later, it was year one.
In the year 33 He died. The
Pope declared 1983 a Holy Year. Every
25, 50, and 100 years, there is always a Holy Year.
The Shrine is there, now, as a remembrance of this Holy Year asked by the
Pope, and it's called the Holy Year of Reconciliation, Holy Year of Penance,
Holy Year of Holiness. The Pope is
asking to pray for that purpose. The
world will and did pray in 1983 for those purposes, so you can see that if you
visit the shrine, you'll see in the back there a plaque that is written
"1950, The Anniversary of Christ death."
the windows of the Shrine, called the stained glass windows, you have there
besides the North American Saints, the Founder of the Jesuit Fathers, St.
Ignatius of Loyola. As you know,
the North American martyrs were Jesuits, sent to America from France to
evangelize the Indians in Canada and in the United States, and the Founder of
the Jesuits is St. Ignatius of Loyola and his picture is in the shrine also,
when he was having a vision of the Blessed Mother in his library, and that's one
of the stained glass windows on the East side of the shrine.
Then you have in the center of the South side, a picture of St. John
Berchman, who is receiving communion, who is also a Jesuit.
In Grand Coteau, as you probably already know, the last miracle that he
needed to become a saint happened at the Sacred Heart Convent in Grand Coteau,
Louisiana, after a nun, or sister, received a miraculous healing for
tuberculosis from St. John Berchman. After
a study by doctors and those in authority, in those days, declared that it was
truly a miracle and for that purpose St. John Berchman became a saint, and this
picture is also in the shrine. Which
for us, living in Louisiana, is a great honor.
you have, also, from the right side of the entrance of the shrine another window
which depicts Jesus being presented to the Prophet Simieon in the Temple along
with His Mother and Father.
that time, the prophet is recorded as saying, "Now I can die, because I
have seen the Messiah!"
on the other side of the Shrine, on the East side again, you have Jesus, talking
to the doctors of the temple and surprising them with His knowledge. On the other window, you have St. Paul, the right side of the
entrance on the corner. St. Paul
was one of the first great Saints in the Catholic Church, the Christian Church,
and Paul was converted while he was persecuting the Christians.
And falling off his white horse, he saw a crucifix, the crucified Christ,
telling him; "Saul!
Saul! why are you persecuting me?"
he heard that voice, he fell from his horse and became blind, because of the
intensity of the light. Then in a
revelation, he was told to go to the high priest Anas and upon doing so, was
immediately relieved of his blindness, and this is the picture you will see on
the right side.
the West side and all the other stained glass windows, are the pictures of
you see the mission of the missionaries, who are teaching the Indians, and there
was one among them who was not a priest. You
will see, he is on the right side of the Shrine, and on the West side, you will
see, he has a stole on his neck, which starts from the left side to the right
side, and that means that he is a deacon, and that's one of the martyrs, who was
killed as a deacon.
is the story of the Shrine, but before we forget, I think it only right to
mention that Dr. Savoy paid for the tiles on the floor and on the walls, at a
very great expense, and this is why it is so beautiful.
of course, must be mentioned, the donations of the air-conditioning, which is
also a heater at the same time, was donated by the furniture store in Eunice -
Jerry's Furniture Store - a beautiful donation.
Also, there was donated by the people of Eunice, items outside of the
shrine. All wiring was donated by
15 stations of the Cross, each station costing $500, all these stations coming
from Holland, Europe, were paid for by friends of Eunice, La.
the names of all those friends and relatives of friends in Eunice and the
surrounding towns are on each of the stations.
In the Shrine, you will see on the inside a plaque under each window and
surrounding the windows, other plaques giving the names of those donors who have
given $500 and over and that's how the shrine was built.
Outside of the Shrine there is a Statue of the Sacred Heart in pure Italian White Marble with its stand and its marble plaque donated by the Marble Works of Eunice, Whitney Ardoin and Justin Ardoin. It is a $5000 and more value.
The landscaping surrounding the Shrine was donated by the Manuel's Nursery of Ruston, La. I thank all who donated; The Sacred Heart blesses you all. May the Shrine remain forever in Duralde, La.
Father Edouard Fontaine - Founder of the Sacred Heart Shrine in Duralde, La.