Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher
(Marie-Rose) Durocher was born into a deeply spiritual family of eleven
children in St. Antoine-sur-Richelieu, Québec in October of 1811. Faith was
instilled upon her at a young age, as she attained education from the schools
run by the Congregation of Notre Dame in both Saint Denis and Montréal.
Drawn to a life of religious service, she was
turned away due to poor health. After the death of her mother, she returned
home to assist in the care of her father and remaining siblings, eventually
becoming housekeeper to her brother, a priest, who brought her with him to
Longueil, where she spent the next 12 years helping with pastoral ministry.
Through her works, she became known for her courtesy, graciousness, and leaderships
abilities, eventually being referred to as “the saint of Beloeil.”
her work, she realized that the young (especially females) had a great need for
religious instruction, and planned to solve the problem through the founding of
an educational order. In 1843, with the blessing of the Bishop of Montréal, she
and her companions established the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary,
with Eulalie (having taken the name “Marie-Rose”) as mother superior.
demand for education was met through rapid expansion by the Order. A day school
was also established, opening its doors for poor and abandoned children. The
Order’s curriculum was taught in both English and French and included many of
the finer arts, and useful skills such as home economics. As the Order spread
beyond Québec, the doors were opened to males as well.
used the Order to promote charity, and help members of her community to
strengthen their relationship with God. Under her leadership, the Sisters
developed a spirituality based on faithfulness and devotion to Mary and the
Blessed Sacrament. They also devoted themselves to Ignatian prayer, after the
teaching of Spanish theologian St. Ignatius of Loyola.
died in 1849, yet her work still carries on to this day. Inspired by her faith
and devotion, she was beatified by John Paul II in 1982, and is remembered as
an educator of poor children. She is also the patron for protection against
frail health, illness, and loss of parents. The Sisters are still operational
on an international level.