Friday, October 22, 2021

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher – Feast Day – October 6

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher was a Roman Catholic religious sister and founder of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She was born on October 6 1811 in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada and died on October 6 1849 in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada. Her feast day is celebrated on October 6 every year in the Catholic Church.

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher Biography

Marie Rose Durocher - Feast Day - October 6

Date of Birth October 6 1811
Place of Birth Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Profession Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
Place of Work Canada
Date of Death October 6 1849
Place of Death Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
Feast Day October 6
Beatification Beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23 1982

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher Life History

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher was born and given the name Eulalie Mélanie Durocher in the village of Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada. Her father was called Olivier Durocher, a prosperous farmer, and her mother was Geneviève Durocher.

She was the tenth-born of eleven children. Three brothers namely Flavien, Eusèbe and Théophile joined Roman Catholic priesthood, and Séraphine, her sister joined the Congregation of Notre Dame.

In 1821, at the age of 10 years, Marie Rose Durocher went to a boarding school run by the Congregation of Notre Dame in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu. She received her first Holy Communion at the age of 12, in 1823, and then left the boarding school to be tutored privately at home. Here she would ride her horse which she had named Caesar.

At the age of 16, in 1827, Marie Rose Durocher entered the boarding school in Montreal run by the Congregation of Notre Dame. She wanted to enter the noviciate just like her sister but her poor health became an impediment. After two years she returned home.

After her mother died in 1830, Durocher took over the role of a homemaker but one year later, the whole family moved to the Saint-Mathieu Parish house where her brother Theophile was a priest. At the parish house, Marie Rose worked as a housekeeper and secretary to Theophile for 12 years.

During her stay here, Marie Rose became aware of the acute severe shortage of schools and teachers in the neighbourhood and mulled the idea of a religious community dedicated to the education of children both rich and poor.

In 1841, Bishop Eugene de Mazenod of Marseilles, France, and also the founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, was planning with Louis-Moïse Brassard, parish priest of Longueuil to send a teaching order of sisters to Quebec.

Marie Rose Durocher learned about it and applied in advance to join the noviciate immediately it arrives in Canada. Unfortunately, that mission from France did not materialize. Bishop Eugene of Marseilles, France advised the Bishop of Montreal to establish a similar congregation in Canada based on the eagerness of Marie Rose Durocher and the others who wanted to join the French Sœurs des Saints-Noms de Jésus et de Marie (Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary).

A mission of the Oblate Fathers arrived in Montreal, on December 2 1841, and opened a church at Longueuil. Durocher met Father Pierre-Adrien Telmon of the Oblates who became her spiritual director. Durocher also met Bishop Bourget who together with Father Telmon encouraged her to lead in founding a religious congregation dedicated to the Christian education of youth.

Durocher took up the challenge and together with her friend Mélodie Dufresne, and Henriette Céré, a schoolteacher, they began postulancy at Saint-Antoine Church in Longueuil.

On February 28 1844, Durocher, Dufresne and Céré began their novitiate where they took their religious names and habits. Durocher took the name Sister Marie Rose, Céré became Sister Marie-Madeleine and Dufresne became Sister Marie-Agnes.

The newly founded congregation was approved by Bishop Bourget and named it the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary just like the one in France. They adopted the rule and constitution of their namesakes in France. The trio professed religious vows and Durocher became the Mother Superior.

This new congregation started teaching in the school owned by Henriette Céré but when the influx of learners increased, they moved to a bigger building.

Eventually, within five years, they had opened four convents in Longueuil, Saint-Lin, Belœil, and Saint Timothée where they taught both in French and English.

The sail in her vocation was not all that smooth for Durocher because she met obstacles on the way. There was a priest, who wanted to take over the management of the schools but Durocher refused. They clashed very much and when he lost his bid, he began to publicly badmouth the operations of the sisters.

Blessed Marie Rose Durocher’s Death

Durocher’s life was distressed so much by her ill health and her body energy was failing. She died on October 6 1849 at the age of 38 years in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada. Her remains are interred in the Chapelle Marie-Rose in the Co-cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua in Longueuil.

Beatification

The process of Durocher’s beatification and subsequent canonization began on November 9 1927 when Alphonse-Emmanuel Deschamps the Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal, appointed a tribunal to enquire into her possible canonization.

On October 2 1972 Pope Paul VI bestowed Durocher the title of “Servant of God” and on July 13 1979 she was given the title “Venerable”. Durocher was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23 1982.

Durocher’s Feast Day

Durocher’s feast day is celebrated on October 6 every year in the Catholic Church.

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