Oil Dedicated to Blessed Maria Durocher
Blessed Maria Durocher Story
Canada was one diocese from coast to coast during the first eight years of Blessed Maria Durocher life. Its half-million Catholics had received civil and religious liberty from the English 44 years before.
Maria Rose was born in a little village near Montreal in 1811, the 10th of 11 children. She had a good education, was something of a tomboy. She rode a horse named Caesar, and could have married well. At 16, she felt the desire to become a religious. But she was forced to abandon the idea because of her weak constitution. When her mother died, her priest brother invited Marie-Rose and their father to come to his parish in Beloeil. She was 18.
For 13 years, Marie-Rose served as housekeeper, hostess, and parish worker. She became well-known for her graciousness, courtesy, leadership, and tact. She was, in fact, called “the saint of Beloeil.” Perhaps she was too tactful during two years when her brother treated her coldly.
Blessed Maria Durocher is a reluctant foundress
When Marie-Rose was 29, Bishop Ignace Bourget became bishop of Montreal. He faced a shortage of priests and sisters. He knew a rural population that had been largely deprived of education. Like his counterparts in the United States, Bishop Bourget scoured Europe for help. He himself founded four communities, one of which was the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. Its first sister and reluctant co-foundress was Marie-Rose Durocher.
As a young woman, Marie-Rose had hoped there would someday be a community of teaching sisters in every parish. She never thought she would found one. Her spiritual director, Oblate of Mary Immaculate Father Pierre Telmon, led her in the spiritual life. He urged her to found a community herself. Bishop Bourget concurred, but Marie-Rose shrank from the prospect. She was in poor health and her father and brother needed her.
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
Finally Marie-Rose agreed, and with two friends, Melodie Dufresne and Henriette Cere, entered a little home in Longueuil. With them were 13 young girls already assembled for boarding school. Longueuil became her Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Gethsemane. Marie-Rose was 32 and would live only six more years. Her years were filled with poverty, trials, sickness, and slander. The qualities she had nurtured in her “hidden” life came forward. She had a strong will, intelligence and common sense and a great inner courage. Also, she had a great deference to directors. Thus was born an international congregation of women religious dedicated to education in the faith.
Marie-Rose was severe with herself. Byy today’s standards she was quite strict with her sisters. Beneath it all, of course, was an unshakeable love of her crucified Saviour.
On her deathbed, the prayers most frequently on her lips were “Jesus, Mary, Joseph! Sweet Jesus, I love you. Jesus, be to me Jesus!” Before she died, Marie-Rose smiled and said to the sister with her, “Your prayers are keeping me here—let me go.”
Marie-Rose Durocher was beatified in 1982. Her Liturgical Feast Day is October 6.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.