Anniversary of Mother Marie de Jésus

On the 18th of September we recalled the 130th anniversary of the death of our foundress, Mother Marie de Jésus, Antoinette Fage.

The sisters who work in the archives of the Congregation thought that on this occasion they might offer us some extracts from the Chapter that Mother Marie du Saint Sacrement addressed to the Little Sisters on the 20 September 1884, the first anniversary of the death of our foundress, and also some suggestions for further reading. This is to help us try to enter into the sentiments of those who witnessed the early years of our Congregation, to internalise them personally and as a community, and to revitalise our bond with them in the concrete aspects of our life as LSA today. 
 
Chapter of the 20th September 1884
 
"During these days, talking about our Mother is something very pleasant for us. We were told that what characterised her holiness was above her trust in God. 
 
I would like, for the greatest good of our souls, to seek in the life of our Mother what was in a way the fruit of her trust in God so that, having meditated on it for a moment, we would integrate it into our life. The fruit of her trust was courage. It came from her faith in God, from her love for Him and it never failed, even in the midst of the greatest difficulties. Our Mother had the courage to overcome herself, the courage to begin her work and to continue it, courage in the good she wished for souls, in the trials of all description that she suffered – finally, we might say that she was courageous in living and also in dying. 
 
It is enough to say that she had an extremely sensitive mind and heart for us to understand that the voice of nature resonated strongly in her, and the energy she had to exert in order to die to herself and become the instrument of the Lord in the way she did. In each of her letters to our venerated father we can sense this persistent determination. 
It was the same in the external difficulties at the beginning of the Work and after the foundation. The beginnings! We can scarcely form an idea of them that would help us to understand the courage our father and our mother needed for that undertaking. Almost no sisters, no income, no health, no encouragement outside but rather contempt and mockery! Then, with the development of the work, the arrival of other difficulties: spiritual and material. In spite of that I heard our mother say: "I never had fifteen minutes of discouragement". 
 
Finally, she also needed courage to die, we could sense it. 
 
If we wish to be honest with ourselves, we will see that we often lack courage, be it in the work of our perfection or in any other difficulty. We need courage in order to live, we will need courage to die. 
 
Let us remember that courage is the fruit of faith and the love of God. Let us strengthen our faith, increase our love." 
 
The few questions below are intended quite simply to strengthen our certainty that we are part of a history of salvation and that we have received a spiritual heritage that still bears fruit today. 
 
  • What are the events in the life of Mother Marie de Jésus that you think were providential for her at the beginning of the Congregation and for us today? 
  • How can we define the place of Mother Marie de Jésus in the development of Father Pernet’s intuition? 
  • Look for three characteristics of the spiritual aspect of Mother Marie de Jésus. Can we recognise ourselves in her? 
  • What has our Foundress to say to us, for each one personally and for the Congregation as a body, in our present circumstances? 
 
Finally, we share with you the blessing given by Mother Mary of Jesus to the Little Sisters of the St Roch community (14 September 1878). 
’May all of you be blessed as much as I never fail to ask every day of Our Lord and his holy Mother. May he bless you for the love you have for him, for the devotedness you have for the poor who are dear to him by being, through his grace, instruments of salvation for them. Be blessed for the very agreeable sisterly bonds which, becoming stronger day by day in each of you, will make our Congregation a true family of the Assumption, worthy to be offered to Our Lord by his Holy Mother who is also our mother.’ 
 
The team at the archives

 

13/11/2013
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