Father Etienne Pernet : his realization

Timid by nature, with frail health, he painfully bore this question for fourteen years :

"I had suffer, severely, for fourteen years to be certain of what God wished of me."
 
On the 17 October 1863 he arrived in Paris to join the community of the Rue François 1er.
 
Being very simple, he entered easily into contact with people, gained the trust of all by his kindness and understanding. He heard confessions, preached and visited the sick.
 
More and more affected by the suffering and disarray of workers’ families, especially when the mother of the family was ill, he felt an apostolic call. He thought of bringing an evangelical response to it : "through simple acts of service, women, religious, apostles" would testify to the love of God among them.
 
It was in this context that in 1864 he met two nurses who came to ask him find work for them and some months later met M. Antoinette Fage with whom he became the bold and tenacious founder of the Congregation of the LIttle Sisters of the Assumption.
 
In 1896, Fr Pernet sought approval from Rome for the Congregation. This he received in 1897.
 
Throughout his life, characterised by self-effacement, he worked to "refashion a People for God" and to bring about
 
"Unity of minds in truth and union of hearts in charity"
 
After a two-day illness, he died on Easter Monday, the 3rd April 1899, the anniversary of his priestly ordination.
11/04/2011
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