More than 40,000 people from around the world gathered in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for a beatification ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 25. During the celebration, Pope John Paul II granted the title “Blessed” to Mother Theodore Guerin and three other people. Tapestry banners with the images of the four holy people were displayed from the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The following is a statement that was read by Pope John Paul II at the beatification ceremony, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Oct. 25, 1998.

“Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, holy woman of God, lived a life of extraordinary love. Her love for God totally filled her being. From that love came her deep caring for people in their sufferings and in their joys. Her love embraced even those who caused her pain and anguish. She transformed the hardest hearts by her inspired words. Mother Theodore was truly a humble woman of God. While she possessed all the gifts necessary for leadership and used them brilliantly, she was always humble and gave God credit for all the good she did.

“Her trust in her provident God was ever present in her life. In founding the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, she called upon God’s Providence in all things. In her words, ‘Put yourself gently into the hands of Providence.’ She recognized that all she did was in God’s loving care.

“In the midst of trials and sufferings, she embraced her crosses with full confidence that God would provide. She refused God no sacrifice that he asked of her.

“Her life was a perfect blend of humanness and holiness. She was fully human, fully alive, yet her deep spirituality was woven visibly through the very fabric of her life.

“The woman, Mother Theodore Guerin, is indeed a woman for our time. She is a model of the best of womanhood. We present her to the world this day as blessed.”