Today Christians Celebrate Feast of St. Theodore Guerin, First Saint of Indiana

St. Theodore GuerinSt. Theodore Geurin (1798-1856)
Image Courtesy: Guerin Catholic High School, Noblesville, Indiana

(CNA) Born in France Brittany, Anne Therese (birth name) grew up at a time that the French government was shutting down Seminaries and Churches–Anne’s life was shattered when her father was murdered while she was only 15 according to Franciscan Media following this tragedy, Anne helped to care for her mother and younger sister together with her cousin a Seminarian lived in hiding in her families home, while there he instructed Anne thoroughly in faith and theology which Anne exhibited a remarkable knowledge of.

In 1823 at the age of 26 Anne entered the ‘Sisters of Providence’ and took the name Sister Saint Theodore, according to SQPN and made her final vows in 1831 — In 1840 Sister Saint Theodore was sent to the State of Indiana in order to found a Convent of the ‘Sisters of Providence’ in the Diocese of Vicennes located in the far south-western part of the state. There Sister Saint Theodore pioneered Catholic education and would open the first Girls Boarding School.

Sister Saint Theodore became well known for her Heroic witness in faith, her hope and her love of God. During the fledgling years at the Convent of ‘Our Lady of the Woods’ were challenging (now called, Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods) with the ever present danger of it being burned down by the anti-Catholics. Persecution also came within the Church from Sister Saint Theodore own Bishop, who on not being able to tamper with the ‘Sisters of Providence’ Order’s Rule, excommunicated her–the excommunication was eventually lifted by his successor.

Sister Saint Theodore’s ‘holiness was evident to people who knew her,’ writes the Vatican and many described her simply as “Saintly” she possessed the ability to draw out the best in people, to enable them to attain more than they thought possible–her love was one of her greatest hallmarks, she loved God, God’s people, the ‘Sisters of Providence’ together with the Church and the people that she served.

Sixteen years after arriving at ‘Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods’ Sister Saint Theodore passed away, during the years of her life, she touched countless lives which continues to this day.

Sister Saint Theodore was Beatified in 1998 by Pope Saint John Paul II and Canonized in 2006 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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