Saint Mother Théodore Guérin (1798-1856), foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, located in Indiana. Saint Théodore is a visionary, a model of virtue, and a source of inspiration and hope. Trust in God’s Providence enabled her to leave her homeland, sail halfway around the world and to found a new religious congregation. During his homily at the beatification Mass, Pope John Paul II said that Blessed Mother Théodore “continues to teach Christians to abandon themselves to the providence of our heavenly Father and to be totally committed to doing what pleases him. The life of Blessed Théodore Guérin is a testimony that everything is possible with God and for God.”
“Saint Mary-of-the-Woods,” this community was opened less than nine months after their arrival, becoming the first Catholic women’s liberal arts college in the United States. Only upon arrival did she learn that her French superiors had already decided the sisters in the United States should form a new religious congregation under her leadership.
“Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us. The way is not yet clear. Grope along slowly. Do not press matters; be patient, be trustful.” She frequently asked her sisters, “With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?”
"I sleep, but my heart watches over this house which I have built."
“’Go, sell everything you own, and give the money to the poor… then come, follow me.’ These words have inspired countless Christians throughout the history of the Church to follow Christ in a life of radical poverty, trusting in Divine Providence. Among these generous disciples of Christ was a young Frenchwoman, who responded unreservedly to the call of the divine Teacher. Mother Théodore Guérin entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence in 1823, and she devoted herself to the work of teaching in schools. Then, in 1839, she was asked by her Superiors to travel to the United States to become the head of a new community in Indiana. After their long journey over land and sea, the group of six Sisters arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. There they found a simple log-cabin chapel in the heart of the forest. They knelt down before the Blessed Sacrament and gave thanks, asking God’s guidance upon the new foundation. With great trust in Divine Providence, Mother Théodore overcame many challenges and persevered in the work that the Lord had called her to do. By the time of her death in 1856, the Sisters were running schools and orphanages throughout the State of Indiana. In her own words, “How much good has been accomplished by the Sisters of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods! How much more good they will be able to do if they remain faithful to their holy vocation!”. Mother Théodore Guérin is a beautiful spiritual figure and a model of the Christian life. She was always open for the missions the Church entrusted to her, and she found the strength and the boldness to put them [the missions] into practice in the Eucharist, in prayer and in an infinite trust in Divine Providence. Her inner strength moved her to address particular attention to the poor, and above all to children.”
"What strength the soul draws from prayer! In the midst of a storm, how sweet is the calm it finds in the heart of Jesus."
"Put yourself gently into the hands of Providence."
"With Jesus, what shall we have to fear?"
"In all and everywhere may the will of God be done."
Jesus, source of truth and life, who taught the world the way of salvation, grant us the help we humbly ask through your faithful servant Saint Mother Théodore Guérin , who spent all her life to make you known and loved. May this grace be consolation for us and may it unite us ever more to you and to one another in life and in eternity. Amen. (With Ecclesiastical Approval)
Saint Mother Théodore Guérin , valiant woman of God, intercede for us in our needs. Implore for us through Jesus the gifts of living faith, abiding hope, and steadfast charity, so that through a life of prayer and service with others we may aid in promoting the Providence of God among all peoples. Saint Mother Théodore Guérin , pray for us. Amen.
Day 276 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Perseverance in serving the Lord; Love for all.
Requested Intentions: Successful outcome of court case and employment (L); For guidance and righteous love (K); Restoration of a relationship (H); For successful employment (I); For a daughter’s successful relationship (M); For a relationship sanctified by God (M); For health of father; For canonization of Pope John Paul II (A); For the conversion of a family (L); For the ill (A); For the health of a family (I); For a father’s successful surgery and recovery (G); For those who are ill, and their caretakers (D); For the safety of a sister who is traveling (A); Recovery of mother with cancer (R); Successful acquisition of a visa (T); Restoration of a marriage (A); For employment and health of mother (G); Successful employment (M); Restoration of a family, End to brother's addiction, Successful marriage (R); Employment (I); Successful recovery of a mother; for all stroke victims (D); Successful return to the faith (A); Emotional, physical, and financial healing (D); Diagnosis and recovery (A); For a successful relationship (J); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."