Marie Rose Ferron

Marie Rose Ferron
Detail of the second-class relic of the soil from the grave of Marie Rose Ferron

Marie Rose Ferron (24 May 1902 – 11 May 1936), often called the Little Rose, was a Canadian-American Roman Catholic mystic and stigmatist.[1][2]

Ferron was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2017.[3]


Ferron was born in Saint-Germain-de-Grantham, Quebec, as the tenth child of a large devoutly Catholic family which moved to Fall River, Massachusetts in 1906. It is said that she was six years old when she had her first vision of Jesus, as a child, carrying a cross. "He was looking at me with sadness in His eyes," she once said.[4]

At the age of 13, Ferron was stricken with a mysterious paralysis and painful contraction of the muscles, forcing her to walk with crutches for several years until her twisted and clubbed feet confined her to a bed for the rest of her life. Because her muscles would sometimes painfully contract, making it very difficult to straighten once again, a flat board was placed on her narrow bed to which she was rigidly strapped. She also suffered an intestinal problem that made it difficult to digest solid food and contracted tetanus and pyorrhea.[4]

The family relocated to Woonsocket, Rhode Island in 1925, where, the following year, her stigmata first appeared. By Lent 1927 the wounds began to appear regularly every Friday.[4] Ferron lived in constant pain until her death in 1936 at the age of 33. The number of mourners attending her funeral attest to her popularity in the Franco-American community.[5]

Her attempts at appearing to have stigmata (including a crown of thorns) were repeatedly photographed featuring what appears to be a stylized wire thorn pattern made from irritating the skin in the corresponding pattern. There are those that have considered her the first American stigmatist.[6][7] An inquiry into the cause of Ferron's canonization was conducted by Bishop Russell McVinney of Providence, Rhode Island and ended in 1964 with the bishop deciding against further proceedings.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Freze, p.125.
  2. ^ A Stigmatist: Marie-Rose Ferron by Jeanne S. Bonin 1988 ISBN 2-89039-161-2 page 153
  3. ^ "Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame: Marie Rose Ferron, Inducted 2017". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2020-02-03. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  4. ^ a b c Souza, Kenneth A. "Seventy-five Years, Later Little Roses Devotees Still Pray For Sainthood Cause", The Anchor, Fall River Diocese, May 13, 2011
  5. ^ a b Kaell, Hillary. "“Marie-Rose, Stigmatisée de Woonsocket”:The Construction of a Franco-American Saint Cult, 1930-1955", Historical Studies, Vol.73, The Canadian Catholic Historical Association, (2007)
  6. ^ Freze, pp. 251-252.
  7. ^ Religion and American cultures: an encyclopedia of traditions, Volume 1 by Gary Laderman, Luís D. León 2003 ISBN 1-57607-238-X page 336