Saint Theodora’s name can be somewhat confusing because she has been known by several names. On October 2, 1798, the day she was born and baptized, her parents named her Anne-Thérèse Guérin. When she entered the community of the Sisters of Providence in France, the superior gave her the new name of Sister St. Theodore. She later became known as Mother Theodore with her promotion to superior general over the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Finally, Pope Benedict the XVI called her Saint Theodora at her canonization – when she officially was named a saint.
Either Saint Theodora or Saint Mother Theodore Guérin is correct to use, although those connected with the Woods almost entirely call her Saint Mother Theodore Guérin while the general public knows her as Saint Theodora.
Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”Regardless of how I refer to her, please know this is the same woman – a powerful role model who continues to teach us by her example and through her words.