Beatification of Father E. Pernet / Info Flash n°1

A word from the vice-postulatrice…

The cause for the beatification of Father Pernet received a fresh impetus with the appointment of Father Julio Navarro Roman A.A. as postulator, which led to the appointment of a Little Sister of the Assumption as vice-postulator.
The stage preceding beatification was completed with the promulgation by the Church of the heroicity of the virtues of the venerable Etienne Pernet by a decree of the 14 May 1983, nearly thirty years ago.
In order to create a link between all those, Little Sisters and laity, who collaborate in this cause, the "Pain de Chez Nous" will publish regularly an item giving information about what is being done in the various countries to:
  • Know and make known the life of Etienne Pernet as a model of holiness. 
  • Imitate his Christian and apostolic virtues so as to live out one’s vocation and mission 
  • Promote prayer in order to obtain graces through the intercession of Father Pernet. (Do not hesitate to ask, at the general secretariat or the archives, for pictures and relics.) 
  • Gather testimonies from the persons who receive graces.
  • Highlight celebrations organised on the occasion of an anniversary: (e.g. 3rd April; 23rd July; 15th August etc.)
Perhaps we do not need official recognition to believe in the holiness of Father Pernet and in the relevance of the signs of God which are revealed through him. However, as was done by the generations who have gone before us, we must transmit his message and make it live among those to whom we are sent. 
In appealing for your collaboration in this work of presenting the cause and gathering information, I invite you to participate in the mission that has been confided to me and I thank you in advance for your response to this invitation. 
Sœur Madeleine Rémond 
What Father Pernet said about prayer 
"…if we don’t want our life to remain just a dream,
we must pray, that is where the source of life is …
But, where will you find life? Through prayer, the source of true life, 
the more I drink from that source, the more alive I’ll be …
Constant prayer, like that of Our Lord, 
the prayer in which he contemplated and adored his Father; 
the prayer from which he drew his strength 
so as to show to people the fullness of the life that is in Him,
in that He is God and man." 
Father Pernet, 7 February 1892 [D0164]
Testimony by Cardinal Richard Archbishop of Paris 
On the 3rd of April 1899, about 5 p.m., the cardinal arrived at Father Pernet’s bedside to pray with him and bless him. At the end of his visit Father Pernet said to him: "Eminence, bless the community, bless my children before you leave." 
Speaking to the Little Sisters the cardinal said: "I have great esteem for this good Father, it is a long-standing acquaintanceship, an old friendship… it dates from the beginning of your work. I have great esteem and affection for him, he has always edified me in my relations with him and, just now, in his abandonment to the will of the Good Lord… How God has blessed your good Father, he did not take him away before his work was finished, and it was finished once you received the approval of Rome. 
If the Good Lord wishes that the time has come for him to go to rest close to Him, may His will be done. The saints are much more powerful in heaven than on earth. 
Oh, how he loved Our Lord, how he worked for Him! "
Historical outline 
From 1901, Mother Marie du St Sacrement had it at heart to gather testimonies concerning the life of Father Pernet from those who had known him, including the bishops. 
On the 14th of May 1909 Cardinal Vivès asked: "Why don’t you introduce the cause of your founders? You must act while there are still witnesses."
The official procedures then began:
  • The diocesan enquiry in Paris. In 1923, the 24th of November: Cardinal Louis-Ernest Dubois, Archbishop of Paris, inserted in the publication La Semaine Religieuse an edict requesting a search for writings by Father Pernet.
  • Procedure at Rome. 1924, on the 5th of February: Opening of the Information procedure; 60 witnesses were heard up to the 8th of May 1925.
  • 1928, on the 23rd of July: The writings, copied and identified, were deposited at the Sacred Congregation of Rites in Rome.
  • 1931, on the 24th of March: Introduction of the cause.
  • 1932, on the 15th of June: Apostolic Process in Paris.
  • 1933, on the 31st of July: Exhumation of Father Pernet’s body. 
  • From 1943 to 1946: Procedure for recognition of the "heroicity" of the virtues. 
  • 1983, on the 14th of May: Promulgation of the decree on the heroicity of the virtues of Father Etienne Pernet (cf. introduction Rule of Life).
Extracts from the report of the Sacred Congre-gation for the Cause of the Saints – Parisien – Stephani Pernet (Rome, Oct. 1975)
"In order to put on Christ and become the humble servant of God, he made the "old Pernet" disappear by being and doing what is pleasing to God … 
So he was called to walk along the path of poverty and humility in such a way that the Christian virtues finally absorbed his whole being … 
But it was not given to him to act or speak in an extraordinary way. He is not a saint of miracles, visions or prodigies. His example is of another type, another make… he established himself in evangelical poverty "for love of Jesus and for the coming of his reign". His life was unified in a single love, a single service. In the simplicity of his bearing he set out along the road of charity to the point of the heroism of the cross. Poverty and charity are the two sides of that figure marked by trials and by confidence. 
The official recognition of the holiness of Etienne Pernet will give glory to God for the action of his grace in hearts.
This praise began from the moment of his death, and his funeral was a homage to the holiness of his life, a homage offered by a crowd where the most numerous were the poor whom he had loved so much. 
Despite the tests of the Cause, this praise has never ceased up to this day." 
[Extracts nos. 189 – 191]
Intentions confided and graces received
Lyon, 2 July 2012
Greetings, Madeleine, 
We talked together about Etienne Pernet and you told me to write about what had happened at Lyon concerning this matter. So, here it is: 
On the 28 June 2005 a little boy – Oram Matis Carin – was born at the maternity unit. I was quite involved with the family as the grandparents on the side of the mother, Sylvie, were in Savoie and on the father’s side, in Kurdistan. The father, Léon, is a Kurd who has French nationality. 
Just when the baby, 5 days old, was due to leave the maternity unity he developed a temperature of 40° for which he was sent to the emergency unit. Only his parents were allowed to see him. Three weeks later I was authorised to go in one evening (duly disinfected and clothed in white from head to toe); Oram had tubes everywhere
I returned to the convent saying: "Oram is going to die, he’s going to die!" Monique Tassel, sister-in-charge at that time, immediately got the whole community to begin a novena to Father Pernet. When it ended, Oram had begun to improve and, on the 10th of August, he was able to go home. 
He had "colibacillus meningitis" and his whole head was affected by the infection. Afterwards he had many follow-up visits to the hospital until the day when he was photographed – because several other babies had died and he had been saved!! Since then, Oram has been doing very, very well. He has just turned seven, is studying well and is going to start primary school; he is expert at judo, skiing and swimming for which he has had many medals. 
That, in my opinion, is what Etienne Pernet did! 
Anne-Marie, LSA
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