Euphrasie was born on 4 January, 1829, in Caen, France. She is the founder of The Congregation of Our Lady of the Missions. She established this order in 1861 in Lyon, France. Known as the “little mother”, she cared for all with the affection and tenderness of a mother.
She had great willpower, energy and a generous sense of humour. She had a great love and devotion to Mary. “Let us strive to imitate the qualities of Jesus, so that all who have to deal with us will recognise in our conduct and in our undertakings something of God’s sacred life on earth”.
She died on 18 January, 1893.
Born on 19 June, 1835, Mother Aubert is known as one of New Zealand’s greatest women. She came to New Zealand as a missionary recruit in 1860 after training as a nurse in Paris. She began studying the Maori way of life and she set up a school in Ponsonby, Auckland for Maori girls.
In 1891, she set up a convent and orphanage called Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. She was known for her concern and care of children and her affiliation with the Maori people of New Zealand. Her motto was: “Providence is my bank and has never failed me yet”.
She died in 1926.
Born on 15 January, 1842, Mary MacKillop entered the convent at age 22. In 1877, Mary established the Sisters of St Joseph. Believing education was the key to life, Mary dedicated her entire life to teaching children in the outback of Australia and working with the poor.
She strongly encouraged women to be heard in the church and she battled with church officials over her support of women taking on roles in the church. She was a bold woman of great love and a model of courage. Her motto was: “Never see an evil without trying to find a remedy”.
She died on 8 August, 1909.
Born on 2 January, 1873, Therese was extremely sensitive towards others. She was also stubborn and strong willed. At age fourteen, Therese expressed a deep longing for life as a cloistered Carmelite. At age fifteen, she entered the convent and became known as the “Little Flower of Jesus”.
She practised the “little way”, with a devotion to God that was both profound and childlike, and with the performance of small tasks and actions in a conscientious and humble manner. She died in September, 1897 and was canonised in 1925. Father Philippe de la Trinite summed up the message of St Therese: “In one word, it is faith. In two words, humility, faith. In three words, humility, faith, love”.
She is the patron saint of aviators and foreign missionaries.
St Teresa was born in 1515. She was also known as Teresa of Jesus due to her close affinity with Christ, having seen him in many visions. She joined the religious Order of the Carmelite nuns and became troubled by the severe lack of discipline in the Order.
Overcoming bitter opposition from her superiors, she succeeded in establishing the first community of reformed Carmelite nuns. Although harassed at every step by powerful and hostile church officials, she helped establish sixteen Carmelite communities for women and fourteen for men. As a gifted organiser, Teresa was endowed with common sense, tact, intelligence, courage and humour.
She purified religious life in Spain and was canonised in 1622. She was the first woman to be made a doctor of the church in 1970. “Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the earth; yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now.”
Born on the 25 March 1347 in Siena. She first encountered God’s love at age six and it was then she discovered God loved her and that he wanted her to receive his love. So firm was her faith and belief in God’s love that she was willing to give everything, including her life, to the church.
She was a prominent public figure, acting as a diplomat, ambassador, and mediator at a time when prominence and publicity belonged almost exclusively to men. She was a visionary, a nurse, a teacher, a councillor and an ambassador for the Catholic Church. The many vocations she filled in her life reflected her faith and charity. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
She died on the 29th April 1380 in Rome