.- In a communiqué published today, the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that Pope Benedict XVI will canonize four new saints for the Church on Satuday, July 1st in Rome. Among those to be canonized is American religious foundress, Blessed Theodore Guerin.
Those to be named Saints are:
Blessed Rafael Guizar Valencia, who was a Bishop of Veracruz in Mexico in the early 1900’s; Blessed Filippo Smaldone, a priest and founder of the Institute of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Heart; Blessed Rosa Venerini, foundress of the Congregation of the "Maestre Pie Venerini;" and Blessed Theodore Guerin.
Blessed Theodore Guerin founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary "ad Nemus" (Saint Mary of the Woods) near Terre Haute, Indiana in 1840.
Blessed Theodore had entered the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé, France, in 1823, taking the name Theodore - which means “gift of God.” Sister Theodore spent several years as a teacher in France, where she received honors for her teaching ability. She also ministered to the sick.
In the mid-1830’s the Most Reverend Simon Bruté, bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes dispatched a colleague to France to find a congregation of sisters that would be willing to assist in his growing diocese.
The superior of the Sisters of Providence of Ruillé, responding to Bishop Bruté’s call, chose Blessed Theodore to lead the mission. She and her companion sisters started right away on their mission and opened an academy for girls only less than nine months after their arrival in Indiana. Soon thereafter, under Mother Theodore's leadership, schools were founded throughout the state of Indiana and beyond - to Chicago and eventually as far as Boston, and Los Angeles.
Today, The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods minister in 20 states, the District of Columbia, Taiwan and China. Currently, there are about 450 members
The remains of Blessed Theodore are currently buried in a tomb beneath the floor of the church at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.