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Testimonies of people who knew her

Susan Alvey was 93 when she testified as a witness in Mother Theodore’s Cause.

People who knew Saint Mother Theodore in her lifetime share first-hand accounts of her below.

Susanna Alvey

lived in Saint Mary’s Village when Mother Theodore Guerin arrived in 1840

“She [Saint Mother Theodore] was a good Mother for her daughters and for all around her. In my opinion, she was a very humble person, a person of solid faith, hope and charity. She was also a prudent, just and temperate person, always ready to share with the poor and to take care of the sick personally or sent her Sisters to them, giving them medicine free of charge.”

Sister Marie Antoinette Buchanan

spent seven years under Saint Mother Theodore’s direction

“She practiced virtue without affectation. When she was ridiculed or insulted, she remained patient. When she was praised, she tried to persuade herself of the contrary.”

“Her personality incited all around her to devotion. During her life, many considered Saint Mother Theodore a holy person. All the Sisters believed her to be extraordinarily holy.”

Sister Mary Eudoxie Marshall

translated in Mother Theodore’s Journal and her letters

“She [Saint Mother Theodore] observed her vows perfectly. I know this from personal observation. She practiced all the virtues in a high degree.”

“Saint Mother Theodore had the greatest reverence and love for all the mysteries of our religion, especially for the Passion and the Holy Eucharist.”

“Her catechetical instructions showed how well-versed she was in Holy Scripture and tradition.”

“She [Saint Mother Theodore] was always occupied and never permitted others to lose time. She was just in all her dealings. She never made workmen wait for their pay and was very conscientious in keeping contracts. She was never severe in her judgment of others, nor permitted others to be so. I never knew her justice to be doubted by anyone.”

Sister Mary James Stadtelmann

Came to the community a young orphan, and Mother Theodore wrote her some of her most tender letters of direction in the last years of her life

“To me our dear Mother was always walking in the presence of God. God came in everywhere, in letters, conversations, recreations. Once she took us out walking, and seeing the new moon she said, ‘There is the new moon, my children. Let us say an Our Father that we may not commit a serious sin during this moon. May our souls increase in perfection and God’s holy love, as the moon grows from day to day.'”

Sister St. Antoine Hermann

Saint Mother Theodore’s garden shoes

entered the Congregation in 1852

“She was always at work, no matter what it was, she never had any choice — in the house or in the fields — it was all the same, and we were always very happy to be with her because she was so kind and encouraging; and the work was very hard in those days and the poverty great. In her presence we always felt something like a grace, as holiness coming from her.”

Harriet Hetfield

later became Sister Mary John

“As a pupil — protestant — at St. Mary’s from 1849-1852, I saw her frequently when she visited the school. There was something so pleasing in her countenance that we hailed her coming with joy. Her words to us were so full of unction that I was drawn to her and felt “How good to be here.”

Margaret Roquet Wheeler

Grew up in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods village. Her father helped construct the academy. Family friends of Mother Theodore and the young Congregation

“There was an epidemic of smallpox in the neighborhood. Sister Olympiade was absent, and Mother had the village children brought to her to vaccinate, which she did herself, although not well at the time. Mother with her usual tenderness, gave each child a gift — for its bravery.”

Hugh D. Roquet

brother of Margaret, above, and village child and family friend during Mother Theodore’s time

“She would visit the poor, and sick, and reckless, and advise and console and help them for their good. When unable to go personally, she would send some of the other Sisters. It mattered not what religion of the sick and needy; all were cared for alike by Mother Theodore.

She suffered uncomplainingly the hardships of pioneer life, and would say, “We must place our trust in God; He will help us.”

Read Mother Theodore’s niece’s recounting of Saint Mother Theodore as a child.

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