Beatification Cause of Father Etienne Pernet, Info Flash n°4

Message from the Vice-Postulator

Leaflet no. 3 accompanying the "Pain de Chez Nous" of February 2014 described some of the work of the Team for the Cause on the novena, the prayer for the beatification and the historical folder: they will soon be transmitted to the ’correspondent’ in each country. 
Furthermore, we draw your attention to the celebration of the 3rd of April, the anniversary of the passing of Father Pernet from death to life in God. 
The information we have had describes several gatherings: 
- in Lyon, the Vaulx en Velin community, with religious of various congregations, the Assumptionists.
- in Paris 14, with the Montrouge community and the Assumptionists.
- in Spain, the communities of Catalonia met at Barcelona-Sarrià for the Eucharist and a discussion that highlighted the desire that Father Pernet be beatified as a servant of the call to refashion a people for God, to participate in the regeneration of families, in counting on the laity, wishing to makes them apostles within their own setting. The correspondent concluded by saying: ’we like this way of following Jesus Christ, it is worthwhile’. 
- at the Mother House, the chapel was full: the team for the Beatification Cause, Little Sisters and residents, the Aolas, friends and also persons from the locality. Here are some extracts from what was said: 
From Father Dehouck, Assumptionist and chaplain to the house: 
’One aspect of Father Pernet’s approach remains in my mind: his concern for the poor, for the working family and for the workers of the 19th century, reflects God’s attitude towards his people: "I have seen the affliction of my people". 
From Patrice Girard, one of the team for the cause:
’We must make the life of Father Pernet known and his proximity with the poorest; we must also create forms of communication so as to record the graces obtained through his intercession. 
We propose that you pray today, tomorrow, here and everywhere so that Etienne Pernet be recognised as the one whom he defined as follows: "What is a saint? A saint is a heart completely given to God and at the mercy of God." (11.09.1892)’ 
 
These echoes are an encouragement to solemnise the anniversary dates and are a fine introduction to the events that will mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation. 
 
Sister Madeleine, Archivist of the Congregation
 
 
 
In the light of Easter with Father Pernet ------------------------------------------------------
 
 
’My daughters, today is a great joyful day, Our Lord is risen, let us be filled with joy…’ …
In reading the Gospel I do not know whether you noticed that Our Lord did not take the trouble to knock over his guards Himself, the guards who did not deserve to see Him risen. Acting like a great lord, he sent an angel and the earth trembled. He was shone like a flash of lightening and his clothing were white as snow… 
He spoke to the holy women who were bringing spices to embalm the body, and he said kindly to them: do not be afraid, the one whom you seek is risen, he is not here. Go and tell his disciples and Peter that He will go before you into Galilee…
Galilee means leaving the land of change. Our Lord is so good that He does not wait until we have crossed the threshold of death. He comes already to meet those who trust in Him and go to Him in all sincerity, on this earth where everything changes… 
How many hardships in life, isn’t everything changed completely! Health no longer holds out, the seasons bring with them all kinds of unforeseen events and misfortunes, human beings are devouring one another,… there isn’t a human family where suffering is not a continuous cry; it surprises people in a thousand ways, upsetting all plans. 
 
Let us meditate today my daughters on the merciful goodness of Our Lord, that love without a name, which made Him leave the bosom of his Father for this earth and to drink the chalice of humiliations, sufferings, the pains of death, in order to give us life.’ 
 
Father Etienne Pernet, 21 April 1889
 
 
Extract from the report of the Sacred Congregation for the Cause of Saints – Parisien – Stephani Pernet (Rome, 1975) -------------------------------------------------------
 
A comfort for the humble. 
 
’By authenticating the praise already being expressed privately, the Church wishes to confirm many women and men, laity, priests or religious, in their devotion and consecration. All, principally those who have poor means, will find in the Servant of God a friend, a support and a model in their daily tasks and their work for the Gospel in the midst of the poor and working class. 
 
By invoking him frequently in prayer, they will learn from him to be trusting and faithful in the faith, whatever be their deprivation, their suffering or even their destitution. Helped by his example, they will not despair of themselves, nor of others, nor of God. 
 
Despite the poverty of their means they will place themselves and remain in the service of Christ, of his Church and of the Gospel. Because the Servant of God, through his whole life and work, only refers people to Christ, introduces them to the Church and proposes the Gospel. 
 
In the history of the 19th-century Church his figure recalls the mercy of God for the poor. At a time when the industrial civilisation was unsettling the economic and social bases of the Western peoples and atheistic and liberal ideologies were appearing, God raised up this man capable of giving life to the phrase of Jesus: "I have pity on this crowd". 
 
This gospel reference gives a permanent value to the action of the Servant of God and makes it an encouragement for all those who, attentive to the demands of the Gospel and the instructions of the Church, and impelled by their generosity, wish to do something for God and the "little ones" whom the Lord calls his own. 
The example of the Servant of God, because it is evangelical, surely stands out as being very relevant for the present time, after the teaching of Vatican II. This is within a Church that is more aware of the duty to be a servant and poor, to be attentive to all forms of human generosity in order to save the world from injustice, violence and secularism.’
 
Extract no. 193
 
 
Intentions confided and graces received ----------------------------------------------------
 
We have received this testimony from Colombia:
John Freddy, from the age of 14, was nourished by the spirituality of the Assumption through a youth movement. From that, he became particularly attached to the spirituality and charism of Father Pernet, so much so that in 1981 he founded the ’Etienne Pernet Education Centre’ for the children of a deprived area of Cali. We give here the account he wrote in April 2014 of his bonds with Father Pernet. 
 
’I would like to share with you a real miracle worked by our Father Etienne Pernet. On the 5th of December 2013 I had a heart attack and had to be admitted to hospital. On the 6th of December I had a visit from Sr Amparo Montes and I remember very well that she offered me a little relic of Father Etienne Pernet on that occasion. 
How did the miracle happen? Usually, when I am hospitalised, I always invoke the help of Fr Pernet in my prayer. Given my situation, it was almost certain that they would have to implant a ring in my heart to help to open the valve at each surge of blood, something that required an operation. It was a great surprise when the specialist at the Valle del Lili clinic told me that my heart is perfect, as are the veins and the valves around it. At that moment I understood the extent of the miracle. God had been present through the intercession of Fr. Pernet. That day, they just gave me a note for sick leave and sent me home. My sister Diana Milena, who always accompanies me, was a little sceptical, she was doubtful and I could see her asking the doctors: ’What has happened?’ From my bed, all I could hear was the doctor replying that he had no explanation for what had happened. 
 
God, with His marvellous love, is giving me the Holy Spirit to continue being full of life and I think it is also a miracle that, even though I lost my two kidneys on the 18th of October 2008, with each difficulty I have had Father Pernet has always been present in the most difficult moments. 
 
I have great joy in sharing these few lines with all of you, convinced that you are not indifferent to what I am experiencing. I feel I am blessed and carried by your prayers. […] 
 
A very happy Easter! 
With all my affection, 
John Freddy Moreno’ 
 
26/06/2014
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