Saints Among Us

Did you ever comment that someone was a saint because they cheerfully put up with life conditions, illness, or someone in their lives that would drive others to despair? What about all those statues of St. Francis that are sold in garden centers, some made so that St. Francis is holding a small dish to fill with bird seed? Ever wonder who St. Francis was and why he is a popular garden statue? Do you celebrate St. Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day?

Saints have clearly become a part of our lives, whether we are Catholic or not. And now a new saint has entered our lives. The shoes you see pictured here were worn by Mother Theodore Guerin, the foundress of the Sisters of Providence of St-Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, when she worked in the gardens they forged out of the Indiana wilderness in the mid 1800’s.

Today, Pope Benedict XVI declared her to be a saint.

The picture is from the local weekly Catholic newspaper, The Criterion, which is full of articles and blogs about this event because this particular saint is from Indiana. The caption under the photo reads “These shoes, known in French as sabots, were used by Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin while gardening or working on her community’s farm”.

A friend gave me a copy of the picture because she thought I’d be interested in it, because of the gardening connection. I hope all gardeners have good friends like that who, when they run across a picture or article or whatever related to gardening, they bring it to your attention. I love having friends like that, keep that gardening info coming my way!


  1. St. Francis protector of the animals .. I proudly display in my garden!

  2. Nice thoughts, Carol and an interesting gardening connection, too. Don't those sabots remind you of crocs?The Chicago SunTimes had some interesting biography notes on Mother Guerin, recounting her perseverance in dealing with an overbearing bishop.


    Besides St Francis of Assisi for animals and ecology, there's St Isidore for farmers, and for gardeners St Fiacre and St Gertrude. I used to have a story about St Fiacre composting himself, which would go well with your other post, but can't find it at the moment!
    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Interesting post Carol. Did you notice the coincidence of Guerin's feast day, Oct 3, and St Francis' transitus also on Oct 3 I believe?

  4. The official feast of St Francis of Assisi is October 4th. At my Franciscan high school we were taught to add the "of Assisi" because there are other Saints named Francis.


  5. An interesting story about Mother Guerin, thanks for bringing it to our attention. I thought the same thing as Annie about the sabots being early-day crocs! Bet they didn't wash off as easily. And in your list of gardening saints, sort of in that same vein are those who bury a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in the garden to help them get their houses sold!


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