Pelletier, Maria Euphrasia, St.
PELLETIER, MARIA EUPHRASIA, ST.
Foundress; B. Noirmoutier (Vendée), France, July 31, 1796; d. Angers, France, April 24, 1868. Rose Virginie Pelletier was sent for schooling to Tours where she joined (1814) the Religious of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge and took the name Maria of St. Euphrasia. In 1825 she became superior of this autonomous community engaged in caring for women in need of moral reform. The house, which had been struggling to reestablish itself after suppression during the french revolution, flourished under her capable leadership.
In 1829 Mother Euphrasia established a house in Angers and became its superior in 1831. She received papal approval (1835) to centralize the administration of several independent convents under one superior general. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the good shepherd, as they came to be known, grew rapidly. During the lifetime of the foundress, who acted as superior general, 110 foundations were started, including several in the U.S. For penitent women, Mother Euphrasia founded the Sisters Magdalens as a cloistered group of religious women dedicated to reparation. In 1950 they became affiliated as a branch of the Good Shepherd Sisters, and in 1964 they were renamed Contemplatives of the Cross. Mother Euphrasia was beatified on April 30, 1933 and canonized on May 2, 1940.
Feast: April 24.
Bibliography: Conferences and Instructions (Westminster, Md. 1943). sisters of the good shepherd, In Truth, I Am Their Foundress (SME): Selections from and concerning St. M. Euphrasia Pelletier Compiled from Our Contemplative Communities (s.l.1978). Lettres, 8 v. (Angers 1995–1996). g. bernoville, Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier: Foundress of the Good Shepherd Sisters (Westminster, Md, 1959). j. t. mcveigh, Rose Virginie Pelletier: The Woman and Her Legacy (Lanham 1997).