FACING INTERSTATE 70, in the town of Saint Peters, in Saint Charles County, Missouri, is a shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title Our Lady of the Way.
I was driving eastbound on the highway, and this little shrine caught my eye, I did not know of its existence beforehand. The grounds are nicely maintained, with many flowers in bloom, planted in beds around the shrine. The shrine is a few blocks from All Saints Church.
Our Lady of the Way, or Our Lady of the Road, or Madonna Della Strada, is patroness of the Society of Jesus. The original icon bearing this name resides in the Society's church in Rome, the Gesù. Click here for a description and photos, in Italian.
Our Lady of the Way is patroness to pilgrims and travelers. But morally, Mary is patroness to our way of life — do we follow the Commandments and live a virtuous life? And also consider our final destination: where are we ultimately headed?
The shrine was originally located about a mile or so to the west of here. Both its old and new locations are near what is now Interstate 70, which follows in part the route of the old Boone's Lick Road — for 40 years the major overland road leading to the great American West. Fittingly, the Interstate Highway system was started a few miles from here, where Boone's road also started.