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The wisdom of Saint Mother Theodore: Letter to Sister Gabriella

Letter from Saint Mother Theodore to Sister Gabriella in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Jan. 3, 1853

“My dear Sister:

“I have received with true pleasure your good and affectionate wishes. The heart understands the heart. As yours was speaking in your letter, mine understood its language. Be sure, my dear Sister Gabriella, that I wish and ask from God for you at least as much as you do for me. Oh, what a season for love, for fervor, for prayer! How often have you been, dear Sister, in the Stable of Bethlehem? Without doubt you have paid many visits there to adore our Divine Saviour. Have you considered, my dear Sister, with what rigor He treats His innocent Body, so tender and so young? What an example of mortification and self-denial! He gives us the graces which have cost him so much and which are so sweet to us! Oh, let us love Him! Let us, after His example, mortify our bodies of sin and corruption, in order that they may be glorified with Him one day in heaven. We have, both of us, a good opportunity for this, being not very well; and this is truly the time for mortification. Let us bear all we must suffer without complaint, without murmur, and also without taking unnecessary care of this dreadful carcass, which is today the object of our worship, and tomorrow will be the food of worms, maggots, etc.

“I desire to see you very perfect in every way, and I do not like to know that you often have those miserable chills and fever. I hope by this time you are rid of them, but I fear they will come back again in your cold North.

“I wish you could see the beautiful ornament we have received from our good Bishop [Saint-Palais] and also a pretty little Infant Jesus upon some straw. On pulling a string it opens both its arms and eyes and appears ready to speak. Sister Agatha seeing it for the first time exclaimed aloud. She thought it was a wonderful miracle. …”

(“Letters and Journals,” pages 348-349)

Read a personal prayer to Saint Mother Theodore.

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Connie McCammon

Connie McCammon worked in the communications office for the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

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