Editorial | God’s vision is perfectly clear

Diamond ring beams and solar flares during near totality of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Praise be to you, my Lord." These are the words that open Pope Francis' encyclical on ecology and care for God's creation. Quoting St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Sun, the pope reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.

This was apparent on Aug. 21 when many in the archdiocese witnessed a total solar eclipse. What a spectacular scene as a false dusk settled in mid-afternoon, the sun's heat was tempered, cicadas sang, street lights glowed, and stars and planets winked.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon display awe and wonder of God’s creation for Poor Clare Nuns

Sister Mary Francis, a Poor Clare, asked a big cloud to pass along as she viewed the encroaching moon at her order's monastery in south St. Louis County. The sisters were viewing a total solar eclipse, the first one visible in the St. Louis area in about 575 years.

Brother Sun and Sister Moon put on quite a show for the Poor Clare Nuns.

As he described in his hymn "Canticle of the Sun," St. Francis believed that everything was a gift from God; thus the elements of nature were his brothers and sisters.

Solar eclipse in #CatholicSTL


Holy Spirit takes students to totality

Students from Holy Spirit School in Maryland heights watched the total solar eclipse at St. Rose of Lima School in DeSoto, Missouri.

Seventh-grader Milly Patterson taught her fellow students and even her principal a maneuver to get a look at the effect of the eclipse.

Milly interlocked her fingers, a trick her dad taught her, to create an image of the sun — a crescent moon shape as a result of the moon partially blocking it. Earlier, her principal at Holy Spirit School in Maryland Heights, Jill Gould, used a colander to create dozens of crescent shapes.

The Holy Spirit School students took two buses to St. Rose of Lima School in De Soto for the viewing. It was a wise decision, all agreed afterward.

Eclipse gives Viz students insight into women and the sciences

Coronal flares of the sun are visible at full totality of a solar eclipse Aug. 21, 2017.

At the initial moment of totality Aug. 21, excitement quickly spread among Visitation Academy students gathered on Ritter Field as they observed the rare solar eclipse.

They whooped and hollered then kept it up for the duration of the one-minute, seven-second celestial light show  ... well, the non-light show. Only the sun's corona was visible as the moon blotted out the rest, a black ball inside a pulsating circle of light.


Illustration by Lisa Johnston; 
eclipse image by Andre Adrian | EPA

Let this sink in for a minute — the last total solar eclipse to occur in the St. Louis area was in 1442.

St. Louis was founded 322 years later. Prior to that, the St. Louis area was a major settlement for Native Americans, including Osage and Illiniwek tribes, who likely would have witnessed the last solar eclipse here — perhaps from the top of the Cahokia Mounds.

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