The Feast Day of St. Philippine
On November 18th, we celebrate the feast day of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, the Society of the Sacred Heart religious sister, educator and pioneer who traveled from Paris, France in 1818 to bring Sacred Heart education to the new world.
"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."
–St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
With the permission of her Superior, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, she braved the dangerous journey across the Atlantic on a ship named the “Rebecca” and landed in New Orleans on May 29, 1818—the Feast of the Sacred Heart. She and her four companions were welcomed by the Ursuline sisters and remained with them in New Orleans until July 12, 1818. Our city was Philippine’s first stop in the new world, and she documented her first impressions of our strange new land remarking on the river, the stinging insects, Spanish moss and the great hospitality of the Bishop and the local Ursulines. After a brief respite to recover from their journey, St. Philippine’s group continued their journey to St. Louis, MO eventually settling in Florissant, MO where she established her first school to teach the children of the Native Americans and those of the French settlers.
This video was made in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of St Rose Philippine Duchesne at the opening of the Duchesne Prayer Room at Mount Anville, the Sacred Heart School in Dublin, Ireland.
In preparation for Saint Philippine Duchesne's Feast Day, we put together this tribute video.
From 1818-1840 she established schools in St. Charles, St. Louis and in Louisiana. She endured the difficult life of an early pioneer facing the challenges of severe weather, lack of food, life-threatening illnesses and primitive living conditions, but she prevailed staying true to her faith and her mission of education.
In 1841 at the age of 72, she finally realized her life-long dream of working with the Potawatomi Indians at Sugar Creek, KS and sharing with them the love of the heart of Jesus. Although she could not verbally communicate, the Potawatomi Tribe grew to love and respect St. Philippine through her prayerfulness and her kind and gentle manner. Their name for her was Quahkahkanumad, “the woman who prays always.” Due to poor health, she was forced to return to St. Charles, MO after only a year and died on November 18, 1852. In 1940, she was beatified and was canonized a saint on July 3, 1988.
On November 18, 2017, we will celebrate the opening of St. Philippine’s bicentennial celebration in New Orleans and the beginning of her great missionary work. In New Orleans, we will begin the year with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Gregory Aymond in St. Louis Cathedral followed by other significant events here and around the world. We will also commemorate the opening the first Sacred Heart school in New Orleans, Mater Admirabilis, which opened in the French Quarter in 1867, followed by the establishment of our second and current school on St. Charles Avenue in 1887.
As we remember St. Philippine Duchesne on her feast day, let us also remember that she grew up during the turmoil of the French Revolution. At this time of great sorrow in her country, let us pray for the victims of the recent acts of terrorism in France and other locations worldwide. Together with our global Sacred Heart family, we join together to pray for an end to violence in our world.
St. Madeleine Sophie, Pray for us.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Pray for us.