Lyon (Agenzia Fides) – Pauline Marie Jaricot (1799-1862), the citizen of Lyon, foundress of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), was proclaimed blessed yesterday, May 22, in a solemn Eucharistic celebration held at the Lyon Expo, an exhibition facility that welcomed more than 12 thousand faithful from all over the world.
At the beatification ceremony, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who presided over the Eucharist together with more than 500 priests from five continents, told the faithful present: “Pauline Jaricot was a woman who loved Jesus Christ, letting Him, the Word of God, live, act and love in her and through her. We see in her a living testimony of the power of love for Jesus, a love that identifies with Jesus”.
Cardinal Tagle, together with the Archbishop of Lyon, Olivier de Germany, welcomed the 120 national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies who wanted to pay tribute to the foundress Jaricot during the annual General Assembly of the PMS in Lyon. All recognized the work of a woman who, in the course of a life always dedicated to evangelization, founded exactly 200 years ago a work that can be summed up in the motto, “a prayer and a penny for the missions”, and that was decisive for the growth and development of the particular Churches in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania.
Noting Jaricot’s extraordinary spiritual and missionary insights, the Cardinal added: “The Holy Spirit opens new paths, so that the Word and love of Jesus can reach more people. Pauline Jaricot was docile to the Holy Spirit who pushed her with new ideas and initiatives to spread the Gospel and serve the poor. In this she followed the great spiritual, missionary and social tradition of the Church of Lyon”. The local Catholic community, led by the Bishop of Germany, showed enthusiasm and emotion in welcoming the new blessed, “a contemplative and active woman at the same time”, remarked Msgr. de Germany, underlining that, stressing that, at the end of her life, as a rich woman she found herself poor, humiliated, forgotten by all and in conditions of poverty.
However, Cardinal Tagle recalled, Jaricot “accepted the loss of all things to gain Christ” (Phil 3,8), ending up in misery, having spent her life serving the poor and exploited, near and far . However, Pauline, at the foot of the cross, did not lose her peace of heart and hope in God: “Serving Jesus in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned, leads to eternal beatitude. It is the peace of Jesus. The peace of Christ gave Pauline Jaricot serenity, patience and courage to face physical difficulties, calumnies and humiliations”, recalled the Prefect of Propaganda Fide.
“The new blessed – he concluded – lived her love for Jesus, by being a missionary of the Church, a sister of the poor and an instrument of universal brotherhood”. During the celebration, the relic of Jaricot’s heart was brought to the altar, entrusted to the hands of a teenager, Mayline Tran, who ten years ago, when she was 3 years old, choked on a mouthful of food and ended up in a coma. After a chain of prayer and a novena of prayer to Pauline Jaricot, the doctors certified the girl’s extraordinary recovery. After the diocesan process and the subsequent examination by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in 2020 Pope Francis recognized the miracle worked by God through the intercession of Venerable Pauline Jaricot, paving the way for her beatification.
The entire city of Lyon celebrated and paid tribute to Jaricot, whom visitors and pilgrims can get to know better also thanks to the exhibition organized in the Basilica of Fourviere, which houses historical testimonies on her life and on the spiritual movement that she initiated. The exhibition of historical copies of the “Annals of the Propagation of the Faith” stands out in the exhibition, publications initiated by Jaricot with the aim of transmitting news of the missions to all the baptized and sensitizing them, so that they have the heart, the mind and open hands to support those who are committed to the proclamation of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 23/5/2022)