Lives of Saints

St Marie-Rose Durocher (1811-1849)

Feast day: 6th October

St Marie-Rose Durocher

I was born in a little village near Montreal, Canada, in 1811, the tenth of eleven children. My name was originally Eulalie. As a child I received a good education. I was something of a tomboy, rode a horse , and could easily have married well.

At 16 I felt the desire to join a religious order and become a nun, but was forced to abandon the idea because of my health. When I was 18, my mother died, and my priest brother invited my father and I to come to his parish in Beloeil. For 13 years I served as housekeeper, hostess and parish worker. I became well known for my graciousness, courtesy, leadership and tact. In the meantime, as a young woman I hoped there would someday be a community of teaching sisters in every parish, never thinking I would help to found one myself.

Because newly independent Canada was still a wild, untamed place, its bishop (the whole country was then still a single diocese) had trouble getting European religious to emigrate, so he founded new communities. I helped found the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary who serve as teachers. I took the name of Marie Rose.

I was then 32 years old , and I would live only six more years after that. These were years filled with poverty, trials, sickness and slander. The qualities I had nurtured in my “hidden” life came forward – a strong will, intelligence and common sense, a total lack of human respect and yet a great deference to directors. I died from tuberculosis. It was my 38th birthday when I died.

“Jesus, Mary, Joseph! Sweet Jesus, I love you. Jesus, be to me Jesus!”

St Marie-Rose Durocher

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