Théodore Guérin (1798-1856)
Feast Day: October 3
Canonized: October 15, 2006
Anne-Thérèse Guérin was born in Brittany near the end of the French Revolution. Educated at home by her mother, she received her First Communion at age 10 and told a priest that she wished to enter religious life.
At 25, she joined the congregation of the Sisters of Providence, taking the religious name Sr. St. Théodore. In 1839, she and five companions answered the call of Bishop Simon Bruté, the first bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, Ind., who was in search of a religious congregation to come to the diocese to teach, provide religious instruction and assist the sick. The sisters arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., in 1840. She became Mother Théodore, the superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. A year later, the sisters opened St. Mary’s Academy for Young Ladies, which later became St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.
Mother Théodore went on to establish parish schools throughout Indiana and Illinois. She also founded two orphanages and free pharmacies. By the time of her death at age 57, the Sisters of Providence had grown from six sisters and four postulants to 67 professed members, nine novices and seven postulants.