Quick facts

about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin (Saint Theodora)

Born: Oct. 2, 1798, in the village of Etables-sur-Mer in Brittany, France

Birth name: Anne-Therese Guerin

Parents: Laurent and Isabelle Guerin

Entered Sisters of Providence at Ruillé-sur-Loir, France: Aug. 18, 1823

Religious name: Sister St. Theodore

Professed first vows: Sept. 8, 1825

Professed perpetual vows: Sept. 5, 1831

Ministries in France: Teacher at Preuilly-sur-Claise and served as teacher and school superior in Rennes and Soulaines. In Soulaines she also ministered among the sick poor.

Missionary voyage from France to New York: July 27, 1840, to Sept. 4, 1840

Sisters of Providence who accompanied Mother Theodore to the United States of America to establish the mission at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.: Sister Olympiade Boyer, Sister St. Vincent Ferrer Gagé, Sister Basilide Sénéschal, Sister Mary Xavier Lerée and Sister Mary Liguori Tiercin

Date of arrival at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods: Oct. 22, 1840

Opened Academy at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods: July 4, 1841

A Celtic cross stands as a memorial to Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Etched in the base are the words: “I sleep, but my heart watches over this house which I have built.”

Other establishments opened by Mother Theodore: Schools at Jasper, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village, Vincennes, Montgomery, Madison, Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Evansville, North Madison, Lanesville and Columbus, all in Indiana, and St. Francisville in Illinois; also two orphanages, one for girls, the other for boys in Vincennes. In addition, Mother Theodore opened pharmacies where free remedies were dispensed to the poor at Vincennes and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She also oversaw the construction of a new motherhouse for the Sisters of Providence and several additions to the Academy, both at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

Date of death: May 14, 1856

Place of burial: The Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. (A Celtic cross of stone memorializes Saint Mother Theodore’s former burial site in the Sisters of Providence Cemetery at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.)

Opening of the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Mother Theodore: Sept. 8, 1909

Received title “Venerable” from the Roman Catholic Church: by Pope John Paul II on July 22, 1992, in recognition of a virtuous life lived to a heroic degree.

Received title “Blessed” from the Roman Catholic Church: by Pope John Paul II on Oct. 25, 1998, during a beatification ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome.

Canonized: as Saint Theodora Oct. 15, 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome.

Feast Day for Saint Mother Theodore: Oct. 3.

Download a more detailed brief history of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin here.

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