This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18 -- Feast of Saint Quahkahkanumad

Quahkahkanumad.  That's what the Potawatomi of Kansas named Rose Philippine Duchesne, a sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart who moved from France  to the Louisiana Territory at age forty-nine.  She had felt a calling to evangelize America, but the French Revolution interrupted her plans.  For awhile she had to live a secular life, as those blood-thirsty Jacobin bastards were seizing Church property and killing all the clergy.  Like any good nun, she quietly went about her work, ministering to the needy and hiding priests from Madame La Guillotine.  Then the Terror passed and she reclaimed the convent where she had lived, but the sisters had been scattered.  She joined another convent, and then later founded a new one in Paris.  Three years later, she finally answered the calling to evangelize in North America. 

I hope the Potawatomi wore headdresses like that.
Sister Rose comic book
The crossing nearly killed her, but she recovered in New Orleans before starting up river.  The trip up the Mississippi nearly killed her again, but with this, she must have contracted every threatening disease that North America offered as that seems to have been the last of her threatening illnesses.  She and four sisters settled in St. Charles and there established the first Convent of the Sacred Heart west of the Mississippi -- in a log cabin.  Their cabin doubled as the first free school west of the Mississippi; they also opened five more cabin-convents & schools.

Sister Rose, whose heart really went out to the Native Americans, eventually struck out to live among the Potawatomi.  She cared for the sick and attempted to offer Christian education -- earning the name Quahkahkanumad, The Woman Who Prays Always.  Her plan was to continue her mission west from Kansas to the Rockies, but an illness (at age 73) forced her to return to the convent at St. Charles.  There she spent the last ten years of her life.

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