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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Life of Philippine in Florissant

The new convent was ready just before Christmas.  Mother Aude wrapped the children win blankets and started off for the new convent on December 23, 1819; Philippine stayed behind with one of the Sisters to clean up and to follow on Christmas Eve with their cow! The cow did not want to go out in the deep snow and freezing cold so Phi[ppine was trying to get her to follow when the string holding the bag with all their money, important papers, and Philippine's watch, broke and scattered all into the deep snow. They had to stop and search until all was recovered. They finally arrived but were almost frozen. That night there was the Midnight Mass and the community soon settled into their new convent. Philippine chose the tiny cubby-hole under the stairs so she could sleep there and be near the Chapel. The rest of the nuns slept on the third floor in one large room. They were soon joined by six novices and the dormitory was also the novitiate. The boarding school grew rapidly and soon there were seventeen boarders. On the first floor, there was the entrance hall with two rooms on either side and the staircase. The front room on the left was the parlor with a small oratory behind it; when the parish church was built, this room opened onto the sanctuary so the nuns could assist at Mass from there. On the right side of the house, there was a classroom in front and a dining room behind it for the pupils. I do not know if the novices and nuns ate there after the children or had their meals outside in the hut built for a kitchen, but conditions were still rather spartan. The second floor had another classroom, the children's dormitory, a very tiny room for infirmary, and an office so the superior could work there and there was also a room that served as community room for spiritual reading each day and recreation together. 
I have pictures but do not know how to get them into this blog from where I have them. Found them! This is the old convent but the Church was built afterwards to connect to their oratory. You see the wall of the church on the left.

Philippine's room under the stairs where she chose to sleep.

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