Missionary and Religious Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart (1769-1852)
+ Rose Philippine was born in Grenoble, France. At the age of 19, she entered a monastery of the Order of the Visitation but the community was suppressed during the French Revolution.
+ After being left to fend for herself, she unsuccessfully tried to reestablish a Visitation monastery after the Revolution. Instead, she accepted an invitation from Saint Madeline Sophie Barat to join the newly established Society of the Sacred Heart.
+ After opening a convent of her community in Paris, Rose Philippine was sent as a missionary to the United States. Having landed in New Orleans in 1818, she made her way to St. Charles, Missouri, where she established the first house of her community this country.
+ Rose Philippine would go on to establish schools and orphanages in Missouri, Kansas, and Louisiana, and her ministry to the Potawatomi Indians at Sugar Creek, Kansas, earned her the Indian name “Woman Who Prays Always.”
+ Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne died on November 18, 1852, and was canonized in 1988.
The Society of the Sacred Heart was founded by Saint Madeline Sophie Barat in 1800 following the devastations wrought by the French Revolution. Her guiding vision for the community was that the sisters would witness to the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ. Their ministry of education to young women was intended to help restore Christian life in France and beyond. The memory of Saint Madeline Sophie is celebrated on May 25.
“We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self.”—Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
you filled the heart of Philippine Duchesne
with charity and missionary zeal,
and gave her the desire
to make you known among all peoples.
Fill us who honor her memory today,
with that same love and zeal
to extend your kingdom to the ends of the earth.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.