Visit the site of the only Vatican-recognized miracle in the United States, The Shrine of St. John Berchmans, located at The Academy of the Sacred Heart. In 1866, Mary Wilson, a novice in the Religious of the Sacred Heart, was suffering from a prolonged illness. As her health continued to fail, the nuns offered a novena to John Berchmans, a Jesuit priest from Belgium who had died at an early age. After eight days, she was near death, anointed and assigned a nun to sit with her through the night as it was sure to be her last. The next morning, she was sitting in bed and cured. She told of a vision she had of John Berchmans, which was documented and ultimately recognized by the Catholic Church leading to his canonization. Today, it is possible to visit the Shrine of St. John Berchmans located on the grounds of one of America’s oldest Catholic schools—the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau.

Founded in 1821, under the direction of Saint Philippine Duchesne, the Academy has remained in continuous operation through fire, epidemic, and war. Unearth these stories from the past while visiting the Academy’s museum and cemetery. Also, discover the institution’s history as a “colored school” for ex-slaves, dedicated to transitioning students to freedom and self-sufficiency. Beyond the beautiful formal gardens and alley of oaks, lies a fascinating history waiting to be told.