Academy of the Sacred Heart is a school located in St. Landry Parish of Louisiana in the small town of Grand Coteau north of Lafayette and it may be the holiest place in the United States.

The Academy of the Sacred Heart opened as an all-girl school in 1821. Schools of the Sacred Heart is a complex of two Catholic single-sex private schools for grades Pre-Kindergarten-3 through grade 12. The Academy of Sacred Heart is the oldest school of its type in the world.

The school has continued to remain open for 201 years. Even during the Civil War, the school remained open.

The Academy of the Sacred Heart holds a very special honor. The school is the only location in the United States that is certified by the Vatican to have had a documented miracle take place.

The miracle, which is still taught to students and visitors to this day, is about a young woman named Mary Wilson. She joined the Society of Sacred Heart in 1866 after becoming ill. After arriving her health declined even more.

In an article by Fox 8 in 2012, excerpts of Mary Wilson's journal were published.

I felt getting weaker and my sufferings were so intolerable that it seemed to me that it was impossible to bear them long…. I endured the pangs of death, my body being all drawn up with pain. My hands and feet were cramped and as cold as death. At each attempt to utter a word, blood would gush from my mouth. -Mary Wilson's Journal Published by Fox 8

Mary Wison's unknown illness was so dreadful, most people thought death was imminent.

The sisters of the school knew of a 17th-century seminarian named John Berchmans who was held in high spiritual regard by the church. They prayed to Berchmans.

Mary Wilson's journal states that the sisters put a picture of the Jesuit in her mouth.

And one of my mothers invoked blessed Berchmans, incessantly placing his dear image in my mouth. -Mary Wilson's Journal Published by Fox 8

Wilson's condition continued to deteriorate. Mary started to pray to Berchmans with the picture in her mouth. That's when something extraordinary happened. Mary saw a man and he spoke to her.

I heard a voice whispering, open your mouth. I did so as well as I could. I felt someone put their finger on my tongue and immediately I was relieved.  I closed my eyes and asked, is it blessed Berchmans?  He answered yes , I come by the order of God. -Mary Wilson's Journal Published by Fox 8

The story claims that Mary Wilson was cured not over the course of days or weeks, but instantly. The bleeding from her mouth, the weakness, cramping, sores, etc. all gone immediately.

To this day, the Catholic Church considers the instantaneous healing of Mary Wilson the only documented miracle in the U.S.

There is a cemetery on the grounds of the school with just over 100 graves. Mary Wilson is one of them.

Academy of the Sacred Heart (Staff Photo)
Academy of the Sacred Heart (Staff Photo)

(Fox 8, Public Service Show Townsquare Media)

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