January Feast Days

Venerable Pauline Jaricot

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!

January Feast Days

Saint Angela of Foligno

St.Angela of Foligno ~Feast Day January 4

Saint Angela of Foligno was born in 1248 of a prominent family in Foligno, three leagues from Assisi. As a young woman, and also as a wife and mother, she lived only for the world and its vain pleasures. But the grace of God intended to make of her a vessel of election for the comfort and salvation of many. A ray of the divine mercy touched her soul and so strongly affected her as to bring about a conversion.

At the command of her confessor, Saint Angela of Foligno committed to writing the manner of her conversion in eighteen spiritual steps.

“Enlightened by grace,” Saint Angela of Foligno wrote in this account. “I realized my sinfulness; I was seized with a great fear of being damned, and I shed a flood of tears. I went to confession to be relieved of my sins, but through shame I concealed the most grievous ones, but still I went to Communion. Now my conscience tortured me day and night. I called upon St. Francis for help, and, moved by an inner impulse, I went into a church where a Franciscan Father was then preaching.

“I gathered courage to confess all my sins to him, and I did this immediately after the sermon. With zeal and perseverance I performed the penance he imposed, but my heart continued to be full of bitterness and shame. I recognized that the divine mercy has saved me from hell, hence I resolved to do rigorous penance; nothing seemed too difficult for me, because I felt I belonged in hell. I called upon the saints, and especially upon the Blessed Virgin, to intercede with God for me.

“It appeared to me now as if they had compassion on me, and I felt the fire of divine love enkindled within me so that I could pray as I never prayed before. I had also received a special grace to contemplate the cross in which Christ had suffered so much for my sins. Sorrow, love, and the desire to sacrifice everything for Him filled my soul.”

About this time God harkened to the earnest desire of the penitent: her mother died, then her husband, and soon afterwards all her children. These tragic events were very painful to her; but she made the sacrifice with resignation to the will of God. Being freed from these ties, she dispossessed herself of all her temporal goods with the consent of her confessor, so that being poor herself, she might walk in the footsteps of her poor Savior. She also entered the Third Order of St. Francis, and presently found herself the superior and guide of others who followed in her path. Many women joined her, even to the point of taking the three vows. She encouraged them in works of charity, in nursing the sick, and in going personally from door to door to beg for the needs of the poor.

Meanwhile, Angela became still more immersed in the contemplation of the Passion of Christ, and she chose the Sorrowful Mother and the faithful disciple John as her patrons. The sight of the wounds which her Lord suffered for her sins urged her to the practice of still greater austerities. Once Our Lord showed her that His Heart is a safe refuge in all the storms of life. She was soon to be in need of such a refuge. God permitted her to be afflicted with severe temptations. The most horrible and loathsome representations distressed her soul.

The fire of concupiscence raged so furiously that she said:

“I would rather have beheld myself surrounded with flames and permitted myself to be continually roasted that to endure such things.”

Still, she called out to God,

“Glory be to Thee, O Lord! Thy cross is my resting place.”

These painful trials lasted over two years; but then the purified and tried servant of the Lord was filled with great consolation. She obtained a marvelous insight into divine things and was very frequently found in ecstasy. For many years Holy Communion was her only food, until at last, completely purified, she entered into the eternal joy of the Supreme Good on January 4, 1310.

Pope Innocent XII approved the continual devotion paid to her at her tomb in Foligno. He beatified her in 1693.

Saint Angela of Foligno said,

“To know oneself and to know God, that is the perfection of man; without this knowledge, visions and the greatest gifts are of no account.”

~from: The Franciscan Book of Saints