Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Mary Pelletier, Feast Day April 24




St. Mary Pelletier Public Domain Image
St. Mary Pelletier
Public Domain Image

 

The feast day of St. Mary Pelletier is celebrated on April 24.

 

Rose Virginie Pelletier was born on July 3l, 1796 on the island of Noirmoutier, Vendée,  off the west coast of France. She was the eighth child of Dr. Julian and Anne Pelletier.

It was wartime in France during her childhood. Her family became isolated because her father had treated an enemy soldier. As a child she was very independent but quite compassionate. Her father died when she was only ten years old. Rose was not able to attend school until the Ursuline Sisters opened a school in 1808 in Noirmoutier. While she enjoyed school she also clashed with authority. She was sent to a boarding school in 1810 where she experienced not only the loss of her freedom but loneliness. The boarding school was very strict. When her mother died in 1815 she was not told until after the funeral had taken place. She experienced profound grief.

Near the school was the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge which had been founded by St. John Eudes. It provided care for women and girls who were homeless. Rose was attracted to their mission and wanted to join the convent. Both her guardian and the boarding school disapproved. Rose, however, persisted and eventually she was allowed to join on the condition she would not make her vows until she was 21. When she made her vows she took the name Sister Mary of St. Euphrasia. She carried out her mission with great enthusiasm.

The mission grew rapidly and Mary saw the need to change the governmental structure in order to deploy sisters to other countries. After much struggle her plans were approved by the Pope. She then founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd of Angers. They became known as the Good Shepherd Sisters.

The following quote is attributed to St. Mary Pelletier:

 It is well known that I had neither riches nor talent, nor external charm, but I always loved, and I loved with all the strength of my soul.

 

St. Mary Pelletier eventually established 110 new convents in six continents before her death on April 24, 1868. She was known for her fortitude, cheerfulness and her trust in God.

St. Mary Pelletier was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1910.

 

It is human to fall, but angelic to rise again.

 

Quote of St. Mary Pelletier

April is the Month of the Eucharist.

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