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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Feast of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Twenty-Five Years After Her Canonization

Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne ~ Canonization July 3, 1988
Tapestry of Saints created by artist John Nava. Photo circa 2009 as seen in the
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Twenty-Five years ago on July 3rd, many Sacred Heart alums traveled to Rome to attend the canonization of Philippine Duchesne, RSCJ, in St. Peter's Basilica and to witness His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, add our beloved Mother Duchesne to the list of Roman Catholic saints.  

Sacred Heart alums in the Chicago area who were unable to attend this ceremony, celebrated mass on September 21, 1988 at Holy Name Cathedral as Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, archbishop of Chicago (1982-1996) presided at this celebratory mass.   I proudly remember that evening well.  Over 1,500 alums filled the Cathedral.   

Born on August 29, 1769 in Grenoble, France, Philippine made her first vows in the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1805.  In 1818, she sailed for America and founded the first Convent of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Mo., on September 7th.  On November 18, 1852, Mother Duchesne, RSCJ died and was buried in the cemetery of the first convent that she opened. On May 12, 1940, Rose Philippine Duchesne was beatified by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII. 

Today over 2,560 Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus continue the mission of its foundress St. Madeleine Sophie Barat as they provide education, pastoral work and spiritual guidance in 41 countries: discovering and making known the love of the Heart of Jesus. And, almost 200 years since she first came to America, young girls and boys continue to be educated with the same beliefs and values that were instilled by Mother Duchesne and the many RSCJ that followed in her footsteps. 

Prayer used by Mother Duchesne:  Lord, You alone are the Center in which I find rest.  Give me Your arm to support me, Your shoulders to carry me, Your breast to lean upon, Your Cross to uphold me,  Your Body to nourish me.  In You, Lord, I sleep and rest in peace.

Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
photo taken on November 18, 2011

The above prayer is taken from the book: Through the Year with Philippine Duchesne 

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