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Friday, September 16, 2011

Mother Octavie Berthold, RSCJ

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

September 16, 1833 ~ The death of Mother Octavie Berthold, one of Mother Duchesne's first companions on the American mission, occurred at the old City House in St. Louis.

Taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne

Below information came from the Society of the Sacred Heart archives:

Octavie Berthold was born September 2, 1787 in Geneva to a Calvinist family and given a solid education. She converted to Catholicism at age of 23 in Grenoble, where she had been teaching young girls.  She had an aptitude for language, and knew Latin, Italian, and English.  She entered the Society February 5, 1815 at Grenoble and made her First vows on February 5, 1817 in Paris. Mother Berthold made her final profession February 1818 in Paris, approximately six days before departure with Philippine for America. She was at St. Charles, then Florissant working with the boarders, was known for her devotion and generosity.  Held the position of Superior at Florissant from 1827-1829. Mother Berthold suffered at a young age from “rheumatism,” and was very ill for eight years, especially the last three years before she died on September 16, 1833 in St. Louis, the first of the original group to die. Philippine nursed her devotedly in her last illness.

Nine of her letters to St. Madeleine Sophie, 1818-1823, are published in Chantal Paisant, Les années pionnières.

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