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Fodor's New Orleans 2014
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Our Lady of Guadalupe, International Shrine of St. Jude (Old Mortuary Chapel)
Our Lady of Guadalupe, International Shrine of St. Jude (Old Mortuary Chapel) Review
Constructed in 1826 to house funerals for victims of the city's yellow-fever epidemics, this chapel is the oldest church building in New Orleans. It was a house of worship for the city's Italian immigrant population in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1935, parishioners began a devotion to St. Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of lost causes. Today, the church serves as the International Shrine of St. Jude, and the faithful make offerings and prayers at St. Jude's statue, which is set in a nook to the left of the altar. In the rear of the chapel, to the right of the entrance, stands the statue of St. Expedite, the only such statue in a North American church, whose devotees claim he is the saint to petition for quick fixes for problems or cures against procrastination. An old (apocryphal) story holds that the nuns of the parish received a crate from Rome containing the statue—no identifying information for the saint it depicts. The word "expedite" was stamped on the shipping crate, so the sisters promptly erected the statue to St. Expedite.
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