St. Rose Philippine (1769-1852). Born at Grenoble, France; died
at St. Charles, Missouri.)
entered the Visitation convent at Grenoble but returned home in
1791 when the French Revolution suppressed religious orders. Efforts
to revive the convent following the revolution failed.
In 1804, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder
of the Society of the Sacred Heart, established a house of her sisters
at Grenoble and Rose joined them. She made her profession in 1805
and in 1818 went to America as a missionary, fulfilling an ambition
she had formed at the age of eight when she heard stories of America
from a Jesuit priest.
She served there for nearly thirty-five
years, much of that time as superior, founding convents and establishing
schools, including the first free school west of the Mississippi
and her sisters served an area that ranged from Missouri to Louisiana
to Kansas, their ministry complicated by the challenges of pioneer
They endured everything from inadequate housing
to yellow fever to such bitterly cold weather that the milk in the
pail froze between the barn and the house.
At one point , slander from jealous outsiders
nearly ruined a school: "They said everything about us except that
we poison the children," Duchesnes wrote.
When she was seventy one, she helped to
set up a school for Natives Americans in Kansas, but after a year
retired to her convent in St. Charles, Missouri.
She died there at the age of eighty tree.
A contemporary said that "everything in and about her was stamped
with the seal of crucified life… She was the St. Francis of Assisi
of the Society."
Feast : November 18