Nov 18 - “St. Rose Duchesne” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day St. Rose!
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Born in France, Rose dreamed of becoming a nun and teaching the natives in the New World. She had heard of the adventures of Father Isaac Jogues and his companions. The French Revolution stopped her plans when war broke out soon after she became a nun. When the war ended, she joined a new order, the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It wasn't until thirteen years later that she was given the opportunity to travel to the New World.
After Rose and four other sisters settled into a log cabin in Saint Charles, Missouri, they began a new life on the American frontier. Their new Sacred Heart convent was the first in the U.S. And Rose was now Mother Rose. The school they opened was the first free school west of the Mississippi. The next twenty-three years was a flurry of work, sacrifice, and prayer, all while struggling with learning English, hunger, weather, lack of funds, and exhaustion. Finally at seventy-one, Rose was sent to Kansas to realize her dream of teaching the native children. She was too old to grasp the Potawatomi language, but she became a beloved companion to the children who named her “women-who-prays-always.”
Her feast day is November 18.