Today is the Feast Day of Spiritual Warrior Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne Pray for us
Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in Grenoble, France in 1769. Her desire to give her life to God led her to join the Visitation community — a cloistered, contemplative order — despite her longing to serve God in missionary lands. In the aftermath of the French revolution, her convent was closed by the government. For ten years Philippine served the destitute of Grenoble as she searched for God’s desires for her.
Madeleine Sophie Barat was told about Philippine Duchesne, a woman of uncommon gifts and grace. Their first meeting led to an immediate friendship. Philippine joined the Society of the Sacred Heart and her desire to bring God to distant lands was realized in 1818 when she and four companions sailed to the New World. Philippine established the first Catholic schools west of the Mississippi and oversaw the growth of the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States.
Frontier life took an enormous toll both physically (hunger, cold, poverty, sickness) and psychologically (the difficulties of distance and communication, letters sometimes delayed six months or more). At the age of seventy-one, she began a school for Indians, who soon came to call her "the woman who is always praying." The schools she founded became part of a network of Sacred Heart Schools around the world and the Society of the Sacred Heart remains an international community, bound together across six continents as much by relationships as by a common spirituality and mission. Philippine never believed she had the gift of leadership and died in 1852 thinking herself a failure.