Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in Grenoble, France, on August 29, 1769. Her family was numerous, ten children and when her older sister died as a small child, Philippine became the eldest. The Duchesne's lived next door to her ten or twelve Perier cousins. The houses were joined and the children played together in the courtyard. Philippine would be close to this extended family all of her life, especially to her cousin, Josephine Perier.
Philippine and Josephine were sent to the Visitation convent to prepare for their First Communion in 1781. Visiting priests and the chaplain at the Visitation talked about their work with the Indians in a far continent and Philippine's zeal was enkindled. She wanted to go to America and convert the Indians. It would be many years before her dream was realized.
Pictures of Philippine often show her holding a map as she desired with great zeal to carry the love of the Heart of Jesus to all parts of the world.