Founder of the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood recognized for her heroic virtues

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Caouette AurélieMother Catherine-Aurelia of the Precious Blood (born Aurélia Caouette, 1833 – 1905), founder of the Congregation of Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood of the Union of Saint-Hyacinthe, has been recognized by the Church for her heroic virtues. The decree was recently authorized by the Holy Father during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Her cause for Beatification has been under study since November 1984.

Aurélia Caouette was born in 1833, on 11 July, the month dedicated to the Precious Blood. In 1849, the year the former Feast of the Precious Blood was decreed, young Aurelia was called upon to play the role of Catherine of Alexandria, in a play staged for the Awards Ceremony at the Convent of the Congregation of Notre-Dame where she studied. Although she had joined the Third Order of Saint Dominic on August 30, 1854, and had joined the Precious Blood Fraternity on March 21, 1858, these could not assuage her desire for prayer and penance. On September 14, 1861, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, she founded the Congregation of Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood. The four members of the first contemplative community founded in Canada stayed at first in the House of Aurelia’s father. On September 14, 1863, the Sisters settled in their own monastery. The same day, Aurélie Caouette made her religious vows and took the name of Mother Catherine-Aurelia of the Precious Blood, becoming also General Superior.

Already by 1866, with 18 nuns and nine novices, they began the construction of a new monastery at Saint-Hyacinthe. Later, the Congregation founded several monasteries in the United States, elsewhere in Canada and also in Havana, Cuba (1902). Mother Catherine-Aurelia of the Precious Blood presided at the opening of each new monastery. While remaining Superior in Saint-Hyacinthe, she also was permitted by the Holy See to become the Congregation’s Superior General for life. She died on July 6, 1905, at the monastery in Saint-Hyacinthe.

Portrait : Courtesy of the Center Aurelia