St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was born 29 August 1769, in France. Hermother, Rose-Euphrosine Périer, was a sister of Claude Perier. On theother hand, her father Pierre-François Duchesne, was a very prominentlawyer during the Day of the Tiles.
Furthermore, she was the second eldest daughter of seven daughters andone son. She grew up in a big family home known as the Palace of Justicein Grenoble, France.
Soon after a bout of smallpox attacked Rose Philippine Duchesne, in1781, she was sent with her cousin to the Monastery ofSainte-Marie-d’en-Haut to be educated. This was a very prestigious placeto be educated during this time and only those of a high social statuswere allowed to attend.
While attending the monastery, Rose began to grow a strong attachment tomonastic life. This was heavily opposed by her family and as a result,her father removed her from the school. She was then educated at homewith her cousins.
Despite her family’s opposition, in 1788, Rose Philippine Duchesneentered the Visitation of Holy Mary religious order. She was givenimmediate admission and continued staying with the members of the orderuntil it was shut down during the French Revolution, in 1792.
During this time, the nuns and members were dispersed. As a result ofthis, Rose Philippine Duchesne returned to her family home. Shecontinued her charitable work by attending to those suffering from theFrench Revolution, and those who had been imprisoned in the monastery.
The Works of Rose Philippine Duchesne
In 1801, the churches of France were allowed to continue their workagain. Thus, Rose Philippine Duchesne attempted to re-establish theVisitation Monastery, alongside the Mother Superior. However, thisproved to be an impossible task as the living conditions were not viablefor such operations. This is because the original building was used asmilitary barracks and a prison during the war and were in shambles as aresult.
Keeping strong in her faith and not giving up, Rose Philippine Duchesnein 1804, made an agreement with the founder of the new Society of theSacred Heart. The founder of the new Society of the Sacred Heart wasMadeleine-Sophie Barat and together, they merged the Visitationcommunity with the new community.
The two ladies became best of friends and worked closely together tomake a change in their society. The community they ran educated youngwomen and was an enclosed religious order. In 1815, Rose PhilippineDuchesne established a convent in Paris. This convent was known asConvent of the Sacred Heart. Here, she also opened a school and became aMistress of novices.
It was soon after this that Rose Philippine Duchesne began hermissionary work in America. Her first mission work began in 1818 inMissouri, America. The journey to get to Missouri, America took a totalof seven weeks.
Upon arrival, Rose Philippine Duchesne and her companions immediatelyestablished a new Sacred Heart convent. It was here that they alsoopened a school and a novitiate. At first, the convent faced severalissues including lack of funds, inadequate housing, hunger and freezingweather. It was not until the Sacred Heart community was wellestablished that they had overcome these problems.
Another notable mission done by Rose Philippine Duchesne and hercompanions, is that to Kansas in 1841. Rose Philippine Duchesne and hercompanions joined the Jesuits on their mission, to Father ChristianHoecken in eastern Kansas. At the old age of 71, this mission took itstoll on Rose Philippine Duchesne. However, she was determined to helpthe Native Americans.
While on this mission, Rose Philippine Duchesne was nicknamedQuahkahkanumad, which translates as Woman Who Prays Always, by thelocal community. This is because, due to her elderly age, she was unableto teach. Therefore, she spent the majority of her time in prayer.
The Death of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
At the age of 83, 18 November 1852, Rose Philippine Duchesne passed awayin Missouri. Once her health began declining, she returned to St.Charles in Missouri. Here, she lived in a room under the stairway nearthe chapel, for approximately a decade. She was alone, going blind andwas feeble in her last few months.
She is remembered as the patron saint of perseverance and adversity. On3 July 1988, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was canonized by Pope JohnPaul II in the Vatican City.
5 Interesting Facts About St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
- Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne is venerated in the Roman Catholic
Church., with her feast day celebrated on 18 November.
- In her remembrance, there is a major shrine for Saint Rose
Philippine Duchesne. The shrine can still be seen today in Missouri,
United States of America.
- Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was beatified 12 May 1940, in the
Vatican city, by Pope Pius XII.
- Her uncle was Claude Perier; an industrialist who helped finance
the rise to power of Napoleon.
- Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne’s cousin, Casimir, later became the
Prime Minister of France.
Prayer to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
When we are asked to be bold and courageous,You are our inspirationWhen our imaginations dream and see beyond the limits of our sight,You are our hopeWhen we fail to meet a challenge and need to accept our limitations,You are our modelWhen we pray with the desire for deep union with God,You are our SaintAnd with your blessing, to the greater glory of God, we seek to beloving people who live and serve others with your same purpose, vision,and quiet humility.Amen.