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!