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Philippine, A Poem By Janet Reberdy, RSCJ

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne in painting at Villa Duchesne/Oak Hill in St. Louis


They called her "The Woman Who Always Prays,"
And so she did...
She did not know then, but her life was a prayer.
She did not know then that, like God,
she was great enough to fail.

But she does matter, this Woman Who Always Prays.
Still she treads the wheat fields
Of the America she did not understand;
She understands itnow; God understands even America.

She nurtured the burgeoning harvest,
was the grain of wheat that died.
She, lonely at eighty, walked in solitude.
Toiled at the sparse wheat field when there was no rain,
Little seed;
But God was the seed, the rain and the growth of the wheat in silence.

And this field of the Society, washed by two oceans, mapped
the faith of Philippine;
Believing when there was no rain, little seed, sparse ground.
Believing that the wheat would spring.
Working for the impossible harvest.

Janet Reberdy, RSCJ