Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Soon to be SAINTS Jeanne Jugan and Damien de Veuster

These are both good calls, and long overdue.

In November of 2007, I posted about the great work being done by the Little Sisters of the Poor, and a little bit about their foundress, Blessed Jeanne Jugan. At an upcoming consistory, a date will finally be set for her canonization. Rocco Palmo has the details on Whispers in the Loggia.
Lest anyone was unaware, the Little Sisters of the Poor do so much for so many that, whatever they ask of you, you just drop everything and do it.
He's sure got that right! From the link about Jeanne Jugan above:

The French Revolution had broken out three years before the birth of a baby girl whose name is known today all over the world.

Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792 in Cancale (Ille-et-Vilaine), a fishing port on the north coast of Brittany, France. Her father was absent at the time, for he had sailed six months earlier for the fishing season in Newfoundland...

Less than four years later, Jeanne's father was lost at sea, like so many other sailors! At home, it was hard to make both ends meet. Jeanne, her brother and two sisters learned from their mother how to live poverty honestly and courageously, with faith and love for God...

She left Cancale for the nearby town of Saint Servan. A nurse at Le Rosais Hospital, a visiting nurse, then a servant, she desired only to serve God and others, especially the poor...

One winter's evening, Jeanne opened her home and her heart to an elderly, half paralyzed blind woman who had suddenly found herself all alone. Jeanne gave up her bed for her.

This act committed her forever. Soon another old woman followed, then a third. In 1843, there were forty of them around Jeanne and her three young companions, who had chosen her as the Superior of their small association which was slowly taking the form of a religious community...

However it was not long before Jeanne was deprived of this responsibility. In the face of this injustice, she responded only with silence, gentleness and abandonment. Through her faith and love, she discovered in this decision God's plan for herself and for her religious family...

As the years passed by, Jeanne Jugan was buried more deeply in obscurity. The history of the beginning of her work was distorted. When she died on August 29, 1879, in La Tour St. Joseph, few Little Sisters knew that she was the foundress.

However, her influence on the younger Little Sisters, whose life she had shared for twenty-seven years, was decisive. During this long period, she transmitted to them the original charism and the spirit of the origins. Little by little the situation became clear.

In 1902, the truth became evident: Jeanne Jugan, Sister Mary of the Cross, who died in oblivion a quarter of a century earlier, was not the third Little Sister, as it was believed, but the first, the foundress.

Rocco also points out that at the same consistory Damien de Veuster (Father Damien the Leper of Molokai, who I posted about at length here) is also expected to have a date set for his canonization.


Richard Donley Fox said...

You can learn a bit more about Damien de Veuster of Molokai at:

victor said...

Hey! Contrary to what some people might think I have no objection to anyone becoming a saint and I'm sure that my mother who's name was Philomene would probably also agree with me.


Jeff said...

Nice link, Richard, thank you. I took some similar photos in my own visit to Molokai, if you wish to see them. I read John Farrel's biography of Damien on the plane ride over. I recommend it.


Your mom's name was Philomena? Cool. I don't think I've ever met anyone of that name.

Richard Donley Fox said...

I am a new Catholic, confirmed Easter Vigil 2004. St. Philomena brought me into the church, so I am stunned at the coincidences. Like Victor’s mom being named Philomene. And like that statue of St. Philomena on that page I gave you the link to above, was on my computer for about six or seven years. It was taken by a friend whose websites I do, Robert Miley and his “Release the Fear” project.
He had asked me to update his bio a year or so ago, I was poking around in his folder on my computer and there was this photo he took on a vacation he had in Hawaii. He had no idea the church was named St. Philomena or that the photo he had taken was of her. He did not really hear her name until I became Catholic. Amazing coincidences this whole journey has been for me.
Jeff, if you have any more photos of the church or the inside, I would love to add them to the site. I will definitely give you credit for them.
Victor, I see you are in Canada. There is a very nice little church in Fortierville. Are you near there? I would love to get some nicer photos of those churches inside for our website. If you live nearby and are interested in visiting it, I sure would like to see some close up images of the inside of that church.

victor said...

Jeff, Just a quick polite correction, my mother's name was Philomene with an "E" at the end. I guess the boys get the "A" :)

Richard Donley Fox said...

I got that!


victor said...

>Victor, I see you are in Canada. There is a very nice little church in Fortierville. Are you near there? I would love to get some nicer photos of those churches inside for our website. If you live nearby and are interested in visiting it, I sure would like to see some close up images of the inside of that church.<

Forgive me Richard but I have no idea where Fortierville is from here which doesn't mean that it's not within a few hundred miles or so.

I'm really happy to hear that you're a Catholic although God loves every one of His Children no matter what religion but as you know we're #1 in His Book! :)

It's unbelievable what God keeps telling me and if I was to share most of it. people would just say that I'm crazy and if I was walking during the time that Christ did and I mentioned "IT" some would literally tear off their garments and say, something like, Do we need to hear anymore?

All I ask is that you keep praying for me cause there's no doubt in my mind that we truly are made in The Image of God.

Hopefully I'll meet you in Spiritual Grade One if not sooner.

God Bless

Richard Donley Fox said...

It looks like it is just south of Quebec.

I am looking at it on the MSN map and it looks like it is just south west, about thirty miles or so, from Quebec.

Is that close to where you live?

victor said...

Quebec seems to surrounds us. I live in North Bay Ontario. You seem to be very persistent and there's nothing wrong with that and when you do find out please let me know how far I really am from there? :)

God Bless

Jeff said...


Thanks for the correction. :)


Those are all the pictures I had from Molokai. It's a very small church. Stark and very spare, but beautiful. If you can ever make it out there someday, you'll never forget it. It was quite an experience.