Celebrating Saint Emilie de Rodat: Loved God and Others

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by Patricia Mathson

CLICK HERE for a fun activity page about St. Emilie de Rodat.

Emilie de Rodat was born in 1787. As a child in France, she lived with her grandmother. She really liked going to school because she liked learning. When Emilie grew up, she became a teacher and taught at the same school she went to as a child.

Teaching Children

Emilie was a caring person who knew that all children should be able to go to school. She started teaching children living in poverty to read, write, and have faith in God. She also helped people who were sick and visited people who were elderly and alone.

Trusting God

Emilie entered three religious communities, but that did not work out. She trusted in God and prayed each day for God to show her the way. In 1816 she started an order that today is an international organization called the Sisters of the Holy Family of Saint Emilie.

Sharing God’s Love

Emilie shared God’s love with others. She knew that God has a purpose for each of us. She found hers in serving people who live in poverty. She died of cancer in 1852. Her example reminds us that we are to seek God’s purpose for our lives and live it each day.

What Can We Do?

* Let’s talk about prayer. Saint Emilie said, “In all our difficulties, our great resource ought to be prayer.” Let’s talk about what this means. Why is prayer important? Does prayer help us know that God is always with us?

* Let’s make hearts to remember to love others the way St. Emilie did. We can each cut out a red heart and decorate it with heart stickers and take it home. When we see our heart at home, we will remember to share God’s love with others.

* Let’s talk about how we can help children at school, the way St. Emilie did. We can make a list of ideas: assist a younger child with a project; invite another child to eat lunch with us; help a child choose a book in the library. What else?


Lord Jesus, we honor St. Emilie for her faith in you even when times were difficult. Help us to trust you in all things. May we look for ways to serve others in our lives the way that St. Emilie did in her life. Amen.

Patricia Mathson has many years’ experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a MRE degree from the University of Dallas. She is the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of many books including Plant the Seed: Sharing the Gospel with Children (Liguori Publications).

Copyright 2011, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, August 2011.

Image Credit: jorisvo/Shutter Stock 544541167

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