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Precious artifacts found among ruins of Visitation Building on Loras Campus

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

For the Sisters of the Visitation and any Loras College student or alum, there hasn't been much good news surrounding the fire that ultimately claimed a 125-year-old building earlier this year.

But recently a silver lining has emerged: a box, filled with scriptures, a rosary and other items, found inside the cross that used to adorn that building.

Those items were placed in that box by Sisters of the Visitation nearly a century ago.

"Usually if they were building something, they would have people put notes or put something that was pertinent to them into the cornerstone, so we figured that this was the container that they put all these different things in," said Sister Bernadine Curoe, who has been with the Sisters of the Visitation for 70 years.

She says she's not sure exactly when those items were placed in that box, but she believes it was sometime after the sisters suffered a huge fire in the '30's.

That fire inspired a note which was put in the box.

It reads: "Saint Agatha, watch over this building and preserve it from harm, but especially from fire."

A note made especially relevant by the fire earlier this year.

"So we think that St. Agatha was protecting all of those students that got out of that building without any injuries. It's a miracle," Curoe said.

Those items placed so long ago have had a huge impact on the Sisters.

"When I read this little prayer asking St. Agatha to protect us, especially from fire, it made the saints, and God the Father, and Son and Holy Spirit. very real to me. It probably increased my faith," she said.

Curoe says they plan to display these items at some point, but are still working out the details.

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