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With a feast day on Oct. 3, St. Theodora Guerin often is depicted holding a cross in her right hand and rosary beads in her left. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1998. Pope Benedict XVI canonized her in 2006. She was born in 1798 as Anne-Therese Guerin in Brittany, France at Etables-sur-me.
St. Theodora Guerin, or St. Theodora’s father was murdered in 1813. She took care of sisters and her mother before entering the Sisters of Providence in 1823. The Bishop of Vincennes in Indiana invited her and five fellow members in 1840 to start a school for the poor. Tirelessly advocating education, she founded Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She is known to have said to her sisters, “Have confidence in the Providence that so far has never failed us. The way is not yet clear. Grope along slowly. Do not press matters; be patient, be trustful.”
Considered a model of virtue and beacon of hope due to her strength and tradition of prayer, Theodora died on May 14, 1856 of natural maladies. The Church of Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana holds her remains.