Rose Virginia Pelletier was born in 1796 in the island of Noirmoutier off the coast of Brittany; her parents had been forced to seek shelter there in the war of La Vendee. Having been sent to school at Tours, Rose came to learn something of the Convent of the Refuge. This belonged to a religious congregation founded in 1641 by St. John Eudes for the rescue of "fallen" women and the protection of those in danger. It was known as the Institute of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge, and it had a house in Tours. Rose joined the noviceship there in 1814, and some eleven years later, when she was still only twenty-nine, was elected superior. In this office she was prevailed upon to make a new foundation at Angers and she herself went temporarily to take over a house of refuge which had existed there years before under the invocation of the Good Shepherd. Her success was marvellous, but there was a sad reaction when she was compelled to leave Angers and return to her own proper community at Tours. In the end, after much negotiation and rather painful controversy, Mother Pelletier was made prioress of the new foundation. Coming before long to realize the difficulties which would hamper their work if each house, as was the case with the Institute of Our Lady of Charity, stood alone, Mother St. Euphrasia (as she was now called) became convinced that a centralized organization was necessary, having one common noviceship, and a superior general who could transfer subjects from one house to another as need required. In spite of strong opposition and the anguish of mind entailed by taking so independent a line, Mother Euphrasia stood firm in what she clearly saw to be a wiser policy to promote the great cause they had at heart. While deeply humble and respectful of authority, the young prioress succeeded, God's providence helping, in creating at Angers what was virtually a new institute "of the Good Shepherd". Papal approbation was obtained in 1835, and the developments were rapid, immense good being visibly effected wherever new foundations were made. When Mother Euphrasia died in 1868, the Good Shepherd nuns numbered 2760 and were known all over the world. In all her manifold trials and difficulties, including charges of rash innovation, personal ambition and impatience of authority, St. Mary Euphrasia displayed heroic fortitude, cheerfulness and trust in God; "Having brought to birth all our young sisters in the Cross", she said once, "I love them more than life itself. And the root of that love is in God and in the knowledge of my own unworthiness, for I realize that at the age at which they are professed I could not have supported such deprivations and hard work." She was canonized in 1940.
Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon. Her mother was an Algonquin, who was captured by the Mohawks and who took a Mohawk chief for her ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by the Visigoths. St. Mamertinus gave him the habit, and the novice ... continue reading
St. Lydwine is the patroness of sickness Lydwine of Schiedam was born at Schiedam, Holland, one of nine children of a working man. After an injury in her youth, she became bedridden and suffered the rest of her life from various illnesses and diseases. She experienced ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes