.- Hundreds of pilgrims gathered in an Indiana church yesterday as the body of a soon-to-be-canonized nun was moved from a crypt below the floor, to a shrine near the church’s main altar. According to the Associated Press, pilgrims lined up to pray before the remains of the 19th century foundress, reaching out to touch her coffin.
The body of Blessed Theodore Guerin, who will be canonized a Saint by Pope Benedict XVI on October 15th in Rome, has been placed in a chapel near the sanctuary of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana.
According to the Sisters of Providence, moving Mother Guerin's body is meant to make it more accessible to pilgrims who are expected to visit the church in the future. Catholics believe that both the spiritual and physical natures of human beings are important. As such, the remains of Saints provide an important reminder of God’s glorification in heaven of men and woman dedicated to His service here on earth.
"While she sleeps, her heart watches over this house," Sister Marie McCarthy, a member of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods, which Guerin founded in 1840, told those at the ceremony.
Guerin founded a mother house for the Sisters of Providence and an academy for girls within a year of arriving in Indiana from France. The original academy grew into the current St. Mary-of-the Woods College, located a few miles west of Terre Haute. And the religious foundation Mother Guerin made spread throughout the United States. Today 450 Sisters of Providence serve in 20 states throughout the country.