Feast of Saint Jeanne Jugan

Feast of Saint Jeanne Jugan

August 30th 

 

On the 30th of August the Church celebrates the feast of Saint Jeanne Jugan, the foundress of the Congregation of the little Sisters of the Poor. Her religious name was Sister Mary of the Cross.  Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792 in a small fishing village of Brittany, France. At the age 45 Jeanne formed a community dedicated to the poor and by 1854 there were 2400 little Sisters of the poor and had spread across Europe and across the Ocean. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.

Jeanne Jugan is also a daughter of the great Saint John Eudes, a master of the French school of spirituality. He inspired the spirituality of many Congregations and founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity and the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, known as the Eudists. Jeanne was a member of the Society of the Heart of the Admirable Mother known as the third Order Eudist for 20 years. From him Jeanne learned that the Christian life is a continuation of Jesus’ life and virtues. “We must be so many other Christs on earth,” he taught, “in order to continue here his life and work.” She was deeply influenced by the devotion to the Heart of Jesus and Mary of whom Jean Eudes was an ardent apostle. He said: “to come to the heart of Mary is to come to Jesus.”

Her love for the poor was her whole life. She said, “What happiness for us, to be a Little Sister of the Poor! Making the poor happy is everything.” During an important part of her life as a sister, she was completely left aside, unknown to everybody except those who had decided she would be ‘nothing’, and she accepted that in union with Jesus.