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The Great Cloud of Witnesses

St. Emily de Rodat
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.

St. Emily de Rodat

September 19

Emily (Émilie) de Rodat (6 September 1787 – 19 September 1852), born Marie Guillemette (Wilhelmina) Emilie de Rodat, also known as Emily de Rodat, was a nun, virgin, mystic, and the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Villefranche.[1] She was born to a noble family near Rodez, in southern France. When she was 18 months old, she was sent to live with her maternal grandmother in Villefranche, to protect her from the oppression of Christians during the French Revolution. When she was 16, she had a spiritual experience, and at the age of 18, she became a teacher. In 1815, she started a school for poor girls in Villefranche, which became the Sisters of the Holy Family of Villefranche. Despite Rodat's spiritual and physical difficulties, the community expanded, eventually founding 38 houses, 25 cloistered communities, and 32 schools with over 5,000 students; they also visited prisoners and cared for abandoned infants in China. By 1999, there were 520 Sisters of the Holy Family of Villefranche worldwide. Rodat's feast day is 19 September. She was beatified in 1940 and canonized in 1950.

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