Philippine: A Model, A Paradox, A Prayer
Her Gift to Us Today!

On a saint’s Feast Day we are asked, by the church,
to hold up a particular life as a model.
So, on this day,
we hold up our Sister,

While ‘holding her up,’
we acknowledge
and, perhaps, struggle
with the truth that
Philippine is known for her failures.

She, herself, admits to her own imperfections.

In the midst of Philippine’s self-acknowledged missteps and shortcomings,
let us consider her humility – her openness.

We see it in some of her images:

Philippine Feast Image #1

Kissing feet,

Philippine Feast Image #2
Begging permission,

Philippine Feast Image #3
Kissing mud,

Philippine Feast Image #4
Kneeling for hours (at times, open and broken) before God in emptiness,
waiting to be filled.


Recently, we have been reminded anew of Philippine’s faults.
New blind spots.
New failings.

We see her failures with 21st Century eyes,
participating in the sinful situations of her day,
complicit in the buying and selling of human beings,
allowing the Society to benefit from the unfree lives of others.

Where do we need to open our eyes today?
What are the sinful situations of our day?
How are we complicit with injustices?
What do we allow with our silence?

Let us pray, through the intercession of our model of humility,
for the grace to be, like her,


Reflection: Maureen Glavin, RSCJ, and Claire Lorentzen, director of mission engagement for the Conference of Sacred Heart Education
Images: Catherine Blood, RSCJ