Theodore Guerin

St. Theodore Guerin (1798-1856) was born Anne-Therese Guerin in Brittany, France. She was a very devout child who received her first Communion at an early age and expressed a desire to enter into a religious order. When she was 15, her father was murdered and it fell to her to take care of her sister and her mother, who suffered from severe depression. It was not until she was 25 years old that she was able to realize her dream of joining the Sisters of Providence, taking the name Theodore. In 1840, she was sent to start a new religious order in Indiana, a mission she at first doubted that she was the person to fulfill. She founded the new congregation, along with a school, at St. Mary of the Woods, near Terre Haute, and the community grew from six sisters to nearly 100 at the time of her death. Mother Theodore was much beloved in her own time. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1998 and canonized by Benedict XVI in 2006. Her feast day is October 3.

“We are not called upon to do all the good that is possible, but only that which we can do.” — St. Theodore Guerin

Questions for Reflection:

  • Have you ever had to put the welfare of those close to you before your own dreams? How has that impacted your plan to pursue them?

  • Mother Theodore was called to completely change her life, uprooting herself and starting all over in a new country, building a new religious congregation from scratch. Have you ever doubted that you can fulfill God’s call for your life?

  • Has God ever completely surprised you by calling you to something new and beyond what you had dreamed for yourself?