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Seven Principles of Sainthood: Following Saint Mother Theodore Guérin

Who hasn’t gotten sidetracked on their pathway to Christ? This world bombards us with temptations.

But we don’t have to travel the road to heaven alone. Asking for assistance from holy people—living or deceased—and following their example can be a key to keeping or getting back on track.

In the Seven Principles of Sainthood, Mary K. Doyle identifies seven principles Saint Mother Theodore, also known as Saint Theodora, practiced on a daily basis, and thereby attained holiness. Through examples from the saint’s life and quotes from her writings, we learn of her struggles, goals, and achievements and how we can apply her practices to our own lives.

Mother Theodore’s principles include:

  • Pray with the Saints
  • Trust in Providence
  • Spread the Word of the Lord
  • Lead by Serving
  • Forgive Like Jesus
  • Be Just and Kind
  • Strive for Humility

These principles aren’t easy to attain; some are more difficult than others. But if you want to live a Christ-centered life, you have to live like a saint, or at the very least, try your best to do so. And calling on Mother Theodore in prayer for guidance and assistance may make all the difference.

Mother Theodore was a courageous, compassionate, dynamic, and even sometimes humorous woman of strength and faith, who achieved great success under difficult circumstances. As a French missionary she came to the United States in 1840 to establish a religious community and schools that provided Christian education to children in the American wilderness.

Poverty, illness, separation from loved ones, difficult superiors, and outright malice plagued her. Throughout it all, she put her trust in Providence and persevered. She knew that God would provide her with all she needed while on God’s mission.

The seeds Mother Theodore and the Sisters of Providence planted firmly took root. Today the vibrant community of the Sisters of Providence, and the Academy that became Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, continue as a testimony to her providential confidence.

Mary K. Doyle interspersed Mother Theodore’s gripping experiences with sound theological teachings and Scripture references. And yet, Seven Principles of Sainthood is easy to read and comprehend. Most of all, you will find Mother Theodore to be an exemplary role model on your own road to heaven.

Learn About Saint Mother Theodore Guérin

Recent Reviews

  • By Amazon Customer

    Doyle has captured and beautifully presents the life and legacy of Saint Mother Theodore

    Mary K. Doyle has captured and beautifully presents the life and legacy of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin – our 8th American saint. The Seven Principals takes the reader on an intentional spiritual journey into the life of this remarkable woman. Each principal helps the reader to not only become attentive to what it means to put ourselves “gently into the hands of Providence,” but also our call to be God’s Providence in the world today. It is evident the book was prayerfully written and structured. The suggested activities after each principal also invites the reader to further reflection and action. This book is an excellent spiritual read for individual growth or group reflection / discussion.

  • By Amazon Customer

    Seven Principles of Sainthood is Inspirational & Uplifting

    From the very first chapter, I couldn't believe the similarities between people and events Ms. Doyle wrote about and the people and events in my life. As I read along, I often found myself thinking. "I have felt that way too!" With all that is going on in today's world, it is refreshing to read a book that inspires us to be "saint like". I think it's only natural for most people to want to be a better person, and Ms. Doyle shows us how easy that is. Just follow the Seven Principles of Sainthood!

    What amazes me, after reading this book, is that I have found Mother Theodore Guerin to be someone I can relate to, even though she was born in 1798. Anyone who is, or has been, a teacher will certainly appreciate reading about Mother Theodore's teaching philosophy and her efforts to encourage good behavior in her students. She believed students' improvements transferred to their families and that it was important for the teacher to love the child first and then teach. Ms. Doyle points out that Mother Theodore Guerin encouraged her sisters, not to show favoritism when teaching because "all wish to be loved by you." How much better would our schools be today, if more teachers followed Mother Theodore's example?

    Many of us feel stressed and exhausted. Several times throughout her book, Ms. Doyle points out Mother Theodore's caution to her sisters how important it is to take care of themselves, as well as the needs of others and that there is only so much one can do. I find that to be pretty good advice!

    I expected this book to discuss the necessary steps to become a saint, however, what I didn't expect was all the historical information (ie: "Evangelizing America" and the "Oppression in America"), the beautifully selected spiritual passages opening each chapter and the helpful suggestions on how to apply what I just read into my own life, at the conclusion of each chapter. The timeline and favorite prayers of Mother Theodore were bonuses.

    If you are looking for an inspirational, factfilled book, I highly recommend Seven Principles of Sainthood.

  • By Amazon Customer

    Opening our hearts to the 7 principles

    Oh, to be able to emulate the Saints! To be truly able to put into our daily lives, the practice of these principles. Perhaps we can, and within the covers of this wonderful book, Ms. Doyle gives us the gentle teachings from which to start.

    Saint Mother Theodore Guerin was the foundress of the Sisters of Providence in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. The road which took a simple country girl from France into the rather rugged Indiana country during the 1840's was one that perhaps few could follow. Starting with barely nothing, Saint Mother Theodore began an order, orphanges, academy, and served that part of the population of the Midwest at a time where struggling was truly exemplified. And she did so, with her eyes constantly on Our Lord and Savior, and His Teachings.

    After reading this most revealing look at the life and times of this great Saint, you cannot go away without realizing how much she suffered and sacrificed during a time of no convenience. You realize how much we are blessed with in our lives, so much so, that it would be remiss to think that we could not at least attempt to incorporate these seven principles into our daily tasks. Ms. Doyle has made this journey for us as simple and pure as possible.

    Having attended St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, Ms. Doyle had been given access to the archives and writings of Saint Mother Theodore. It is then through her study of this great Saint, that she presents us the simply stated, but intrinsically stirring, foundations of sainthood. They are: 1-Pray with the Saints 2-Trust in Providence 3-Spread the Word 4-Lead by Serivng 5-Be Just and Kind 6-Forgive Like Jesus 7-Strive for Humility

    She also includes a most valuable timeline of Saint Mother Theodore's life and canonization as well as some of Mother Theodore's favorite prayers.

    Each chapter begins with a scriptural passage that leads perfectly into the Principle. The content of the Prinicple is filled with stories and examples of how Saint Mother Theodore used all aspects of her daily spiritual and working life to honor God and to give to Him that which He asks of us. Amid times of great trial and suffering in her life, she never took her eyes off the path that He set before her and she strove even harder to offer these same trials and sufferings to Him as He did for us, in His Passion and Crucifixion. Each chapter ends with ways in which to act out the Principle in our everyday lives. I found many ways that I hadn't even thought of as well as those that truly challenged my current way of thinking.

    I particularly found Principle Seven (Humility) to be the most profound and most challenging because it requires us to release the pains and offenses that we experience from others, while at the same time, realizing how we could have offended others during our lifetime and hoping that we have been forgiven as well.

    You will find this latest offering from Ms.Doyle to be challenging in its demands of us as children of God, but also helping the reader understand that it is not impossible. After all, "with God, all things are possible".