Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Feast of St. Philippine Duchesne
Today we celebrate a great Religious of the Sacred Heart who came to America in 1818 from France when she was 49 years old. She wanted to serve the Indians but spent years opening boarding schools and free schools and struggling to make ends meet before Father De Smet (who she had first helped when he was only a Jesuit novice) took her to make the foundation at Sugar Creek; she was 72 and the Potawatomi Indians named her the "woman who prays always"(Quah-kah-ka-numa).
Philippine passed entire nights in prayer. She also always reserved the hardest tasks and the most worn things for herself. She always thought she was a failure, but from the founding of the convents of the Society of the Sacred Heart in America many missionaries would go forth to other countries.
Born August 29,1769; died on November 18,1952; she was venerated in 1900; beatified in 1940; canonized in 1988. She said
“We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self.... The truest crosses are those we do not choose ourselves.... He who has Jesus has everything.”