There are between 13,000 and 14,000 people living in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. It’s the oldest settlement in this state and was named by Jesuits in 1668 to honor the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. The first city of the Great Lakes region, Sault Ste. Marie is at the top of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The greatest attraction here, which is temporarily closed, is the Soo Locks on the St. Mary’s River between the 2 Great Lakes. Ruth and I have been there to see its visitor center and observed the ships from Duluth passing through the locks.
Duluth is in Minnesota as is St. Cloud, another sainted city named after Saint-Cloud, France. St Cloud, MN has approximately 68,000 people and is about 50 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Both places were named for a saint I had never heard called Clodoald. He was a 6th century monk and hermit who was a prince before taking priestly vows. Clodoald was the grandson of King Clovis I, and he left Paris to live in the forest where Saint-Cloud, France, is now. His feast day is September 7, and he is the patron saint of nail makers and was against carbuncles, a cluster of boils that result from infected hair follicles. Why? and Yuk!
As I mentioned yesterday, Missouri has several saint cities including St. Joseph and St. Charles. St. Joseph is home to an unusual attraction called the Glore Psychiatric Museum that is far more interesting than it sounds and like no other place Ruth & I have ever been. The hand up top is from the Glore. The city of St. Joseph, population now about 80,000, was named for Jesus’ father and Joseph Robidoux, its founder. This happened in 1847. St. Charles was Missouri’s first capital and has grown to become a city of 71,000 souls north of St. Louis. It was named for a saint called Charles Borromeo, a Catholic cardinal who opposed the Protestant Reformation and is the patron saint of seminarians and spiritual leaders.
The state with the most big cities named after saints is California. Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco are just 3 of them. Los Angeles is called The City of Angels because Los Angeles means “The Angels” in Spanish, and angels traditionally surround Jesus’ Mother Mary. San Diego, which is pictured under the hand, was named for St. Didacus, a Spanish Franciscan. The name San Francisco, of course, honors the very popular St. Francis of Assisi. San Francisco is seen below across the bay.