Pope Francis declared an Extraordinary Year of Mercy beginning Dec. 8, 2015 and ending Nov. 20, 2016. Bishop Donald Kettler has designated several shrines and churches in the Diocese of St. Cloud as pilgrimage sites for this Holy Year. Each of the five shrines will be profiled in upcoming issues. This series begins with The St. Cloud Shrine.
A pilgrimage passport to encourage people to participate in this jubilee was introduced in the Dec. 18 issue of The Visitor. The passport may also be found at http://visitor.stcdio.org/year-of-mercy. Click on “Pilgrimage Passport.”
The St. Cloud Shrine
Where is it?
The St. Cloud Shrine is in the north side of the upper church of St. Mary’s Cathedral, 25 8th Ave. S., St. Cloud. When visiting this shrine, make sure to pass through the Holy Door at the front of the cathedral, which represents leaving behind past sins and entering into a new way of living as a sign of God’s mercy.
What will you see?
There is a statue of St. Cloud and two wood reliefs: one of St. Remigius, the bishop of Rheims that St. Cloud lived with for a number of years, and one of St. Clothilde, St. Cloud’s grandmother.
There are also two relics at the shrine — a vertebra of St. Cloud and a piece of his clothing. The vertebra was given to Bishop Joseph Busch in 1922 when he visited Saint-Cloud, France, to attend the 14th centenary celebration of St. Cloud’s birth. The vertebra is one of the largest relics remaining of this sixth-century saint. The relics are kept in niches in the shrine behind small locked wooden doors and are not visible except when the doors are opened for special occasions.
Who was St. Cloud?
St. Cloud, the patron saint of the Diocese of St. Cloud and St. Cloud Hospital, was born in 522. He was the grandson of Clovis, the King of the Franks, and St. Clothilde. His father and mother died while Cloud was quite young. His grandmother, St. Clothilde, who was at that time, the widowed queen, cared for his brothers and him. In an effort to seize his father’s throne, Cloud’s uncles succeeded in slaying his brothers and also plotted to kill Cloud, but he escaped and sought sanctuary with St. Remigius, bishop of Rheims.
Living with St. Remigius and later with a hermit, St. Severin, Cloud developed a deep sense of spirituality and love of the Eucharist. He lived the life of a hermit for 11 years and spent much time poring over the Scriptures. In 551, he was ordained a priest for the church of Paris and became pastor of the village of Nogent.
This prince and heir to the throne left that world of power and luxury to follow God’s call and distributed his wealth to the poor. He was known for his gifts of healing, counseling, preaching and his devotion to the Eucharist.
At the age of 38, St. Cloud died Sept. 7, 560. His remains are buried in Nogent, now known as Saint-Cloud, France.
What to do while you are there:
Pray at the shrine and/or attend Mass. For information about obtaining the jubilee indulgence, see article below.
n Hours to view shrine:
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Monday to Wednesday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Thursday and Friday
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Saturday
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. — Sunday
n Masses celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral:
Weekdays — 7:15 a.m. and 12:05 p.m.
Saturday – 7:15 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Sunday – 9:45 a.m. and 6 p.m.
For more information about the shrine call 320-251-1840 or visit www.stmarystcloud.org.