Feast Day:January 9 (Carmelite Calendar)
Bishop and Confessor
by Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, 1840
Andrew Corsini affords us, in his life, an example from which we may learn how efficacious is the intercession of the Queen of Saints, in withdrawing the sinner from the error of his way, and exciting him to aspire to, and attain, a high degree of perfection. Before the birth of Andrew, he was offered to the Blessed Virgin, by his holy parents as the first fruits of their marriage. On the night in which he was bom, his mother, Peregrina, had a dream which filled her with alarm. It seemed to her, as if she had brought forth a wolf, who, fleeing to a church, was changed into a lamb. This was a picture of what was afterwards to happen to Andrew. His pious parents employed every care and precaution, to bring him up in the fear of God; but, as too often happens, through the influence of bad company, an immoderate desire of play, and neglect of duty, he fell into the greatest disorders. Dissipation hurried him from one vice to another; until he was without affection for his parents, whom he disobeyed without remorse; so that all who knew him were full of apprehension for the future.
Meanwhile, his mother, mindful of her dream, sought consolation from Mary by continual prayer. Andrew, while one day preparing for a party of pleasure, expressed himself in a very disrespectful manner to his mother; she burst into tears, and told him the depth of her affliction. “Indeed, son,” said she, “you are the wolf that I saw in my dream.” Somewhat moved at these words, he said: “What do you say, mother? Am I a wolf?” Peregrina hereupon related the dream that she had had, and also mentioned that, before his birth, she had offered him to the Blessed Virgin. So great was the impression this made on Andrew, that he was unable to sleep during the following night. The thought, that he had been dedicated to the Mother of God occupied his mind. “Virgin Mother,” he at length exclaimed, “because I am thy servant, I will unceasingly serve thee.”
At the break of day, he went to the church of the Carmelites, and prostrating himself before an image of Mary, offered himself up to this merciful Mother, and bade her change this wolf into a lamb. He frequently repeated this prayer; at length it was heard. To serve the holy Virgin in a perfect manner, he asked the prior of the convent to admit him into the order. Having obtained this request, he showed, by the piety of his life, that the dream of his mother was not an idle fancy. Andrew made great advances in virtue, and was soon an experienced master in perfection. He was subsequently ordained priest, in obedience to the orders of his superior, and soon after was made bishop. In all the circumstances of his life, he cherished a fervent devotion to Mary, his powerful protectress; and sought all opportunities of proclaiming her praises. He was called to the nuptials of the heavenly Lamb in 1373, and experienced, in his last hours, the powerful intercession of her, who had procured for him the grace of conversion, and inspired him with the desire for perfection.
Pauline Marie Jaricot was born to a very pious Catholic family in Lyons, France, July 22, 1799, and grew up dreaming of becoming a great missionary. Through her brother she developed a real concern for the Asian missions, and at age 17, she began to lead a life of unusual abnegation and self-sacrifice, and on Christmas Day, 1816, took a vow of perpetual virginity. At age 18, she composed a treatise on the Infinite Love of the Divine Eucharist.
In order to repair the sins of neglect and ingratitude committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she established a union of prayer among pious servant girls, the members of which were known as the “Réparatrices du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus-Christ.”
During an extended visit to her married sister at Saint-Vallier (Drôme), she succeeded in effecting a complete transformation in the licentious lives of the numerous girls employed by her brother-in-law. It was among them and the “Réparatrices” that she first solicited offerings for the foreign missions. Her systematic organization of such collections dates back to 1819 when she asked each of her intimate friends to act as a promoter by finding ten associates willing to contribute one cent each week to the propagation of the Faith. One out of every ten promoters gathered the collections of their fellow-promoters; through a logical extension of this system, all the offerings were ultimately remitted to one central treasurer. The Society for the Propagation of Faith at its official foundation (3 May 1822) adopted this method, and easily triumphed over the opposition which had sought from the very start to thwart the realization of Pauline Jaricot’s plans.
In 1826 she founded the Association of the Living Rosary. The fifteen decades of the Rosary were divided among fifteen associates, each of whom had to recite daily only one determined decade. A second object of the new foundation was the spread of good books and articles of piety. An undertaking of Pauline’s in the interest of social reform, though begun with prudence, involved her in considerable financial difficulties and ended in failure. She died on January 9, 1862 and was declared venerable on February 25, 1963.
PRAYER WRITTEN BY PAULINE JARICOT AND FOUND AFTER HER DEATH
“My hope is in Jesus, my only treasure is the Cross . . . I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall be always in my mouth. I adore the will of my God. What does it matter to me, O beloved and loveable will of God, if Thou takest from me all earthly goods, reputation, honor, health, and life; what does it matter that Thou maketh me descend into the depth of humiliations. What does it matter—–if, I find the hidden fire of Thy heavenly love? How happy I should be if I could die for Thee and for my fellow creatures. Jesus, Priest and Victim, I unite the sacrifice of my life and the cross I carry to Thy Blood shed for me. I shelter myself in Thy Wounds and I expect all strength from Thee. My heart is ready, O Lord, my heart is ready. I only wish to do all for Thy greater glory. I rely upon Thy strength when the supreme moment comes and not upon my own. I have put my hopes in Thy mercy. I recommend to Thee all to whom I may die indebted, and I beg Thee, that having given my life and my blood for them, my friends will pay my debts after my death”.
Mary, O my Mother, I am Thine!
Prayer for the Intercession of Venerable Pauline Jaricot
Pauline Marie Jaricot,
Victim Soul of Jesus Christ, pray for us!
Almighty and merciful God, Who has chosen a humble virgin, Marie Pauline of Jesus Christ, the poor one of Mary, to found the great Catholic works of the Propagation of the Faith and the Living Rosary, and Who has wished in the midst of humiliations, trials and persecutions to purify her works, deign to hasten the day when Holy Mother the Church will publicly recognize her saintly life. We pray that by her example of patience and love for the Cross, her life-time prayer may be realized: the Universal propagation of the Faith in all its Purity.
Mary, O my Mother, I am yours!