St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852) was born in Grenoble, France and entered religious life at the age of nineteen without her family’s permission. After her convent was dispersed during the French Revolution, she attempted to bring the community back together, but due to low numbers, they soon were accepted into the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The second half of Mother Duchesne’s life was spent in the Americas, where she founded the first house of the Society of the Sacred Heart in this country in St. Charles, Missouri and several others in the following years. Even though she faced all the physical and mental hardships of life on the American frontier, she demonstrated perseverance and trust in God’s will. She felt a call to minister to the Native Americans, and the Potawatomi tribe of Kansas gave her the name “Woman Who Prays Always.” Her feast day is November 18.
“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.” — St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Questions for Reflection:
Rose Philippine Duchesne must have been a person of very strong will to have lived the life she did; her stubbornness might have helped her get through the challenges she faced and the obstacles she overcame. Yet, she also surrendered her will to God and put herself at the service of God’s call. Her personality suited the call that God gave her. How do your personal attributes allow you to follow God’s call in your life?
How have you put your gifts in service to others?
How have you persevered during hard times in your life?
Have you ever done something you felt was right even when others disapproved?