Ven. Pauline-Marie Jaricot
QUICK OVERVIEW-------------MORE IN DEPTH------------PRAYER WRITTEN BY THE SAINT
PRAYER FOR HER CANONIZATION
Pauline Jaricot is the foundress of the work of the Catholic Mission, a world-wide organization which funds and supports the work of Catholic missionaries. She was born in France in 1799. One of the most illustrious heroines which the Church has given to the world in modern times is without doubt the sweet French girl, Pauline Marie Jaricot. Many were the obstacles which this noble child had to confront to surrender herself to God, among which were the loss of her mother at an early age, while at the same time falling prey to a violent disorder which attacked both body and mind, and was excruciatingly painful. She suffered chest palpitations that were most violent, almost causing suffocation. During those dreadful years of torment there were some moments of relief at intervals, the most appreciable one at the end of a novena made to St. Philomena. Unable to pray at the a shrine of the Saint's Pauline decide to go to Paray-le-Monial, to the Sanctuary of the Sacred Heart, which inspired her to try to journey to Rome to see the Holy Father to plead the cause of St. Philomena. The trek almost killed her because of her weakened condition brought on by her illness. When she and her party reached the summit of Mount Cenis in the Alps, a glorious view burst on their gaze: A beautiful child suddenly appeared-----no one knew whence he came-----and approaching the carriage where Pauline lay, smiled on her sweetly and presented her with a beautiful white rose, which exhaled a delightful fragrance. The guides had never seen the child, who disappeared as quickly as he came, nor could they form any idea of who he might be. they realized that the rose could not have bloomed so high in the mountains. No such flowers were known to that region of snow. Pauline prayed continually to the Virgin Mary and to St. Philomena. During the journey she suffered a serious relapse and once more all hope of saving her was lost. yet she rallied after a few days they began again toward the Eternal City. She did see the Pontiff who recognized her as a Saint, asking her to pray for him when she reached Heaven. Pauline replied:
"Yes, Holy Father, I promise to do so, but if on my return from Mugnano [to pray to St. Philomena], I come back well and go on foot to the Vatican, will Your Holiness deign to proceed without delay with the final inquiry into the cause of St. Philomena?"
The Pontiff agreed, for that indeed
be a first class miracle, which was needed for approval of devotion to
her as a Saint. It was now August and the heart was horrific, so the
went by night, arriving on the eve of St. Philomena's Feast. The next
the Feast itself, when Pauline received Holy Communion near the urn of
the Saint, she experienced such frightful pains all over her body and
heart beat so violently that she was thought to be near death; she
enough to make a sign to be left near the urn, on which she fixed her
with an expression of deepest affection. Suddenly an abundant flood of
tears filled her eyes and color came back to her cheeks, and a warm
spread throughout her limbs. Her soul was inundated with such Heavenly
joy that she though she was about to enter Heaven. But it was not
it was life: St. Philomena, the beloved, had arranged for her cure by
and she was thus preserved for many long years of toil for Christ and
Blessed Mother. The Roman pontiff had Pauline remain in Rome for a year
to fully explore the validity of the cure. At the close of that year,
the blessing of Christ's Vicar, Pauline returned to France and the Pope
named St. Philomena the Patroness of the Living Rosary.
"If only I could love . .
This is the story of Pauline-Marie Jaricot, whose dream of "loving without end" led to the founding of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith .
SEEMED as though Pauline Jaricot, at the age of fifteen, had
everything. She was treasured, the youngest of seven children in a
loving family. Her father was an industrialist in the silk
manufacturing city of Lyons, France, and the family lived in more than
She was pretty with dark hair and
bright eyes, a stylishly dressed and popular belle of young Lyons
Then, in October, 1814, at age 15,
Pauline had a fall that left her partially paralyzed and in terrible
pain. Not long after this, her mother died.
It took Pauline many months to
recover emotionally and physically. When she did recover, she resumed
her social whirl, though with somewhat less delight than before. Her
heart, she wrote at this time, was "made for the whole world."
Pauline was transformed one day at
Mass in Lent of 1816 by a sermon given by Abbe Wurtz about vanity and
its manifestation in society women's dress and behavior. She sought the
Abbe as her spiritual director. She began to dress in plain, simple
clothing and to give her time and her love to the sick-poor of her
city, often at the Hospital for Incurables.
Pauline had also expressed a larger
"If only I could love without
reluctance . . . without measure . . . without end."
FOUNDING OF THE PROPAGATION
Pauline Jaricot was
born in the wake of the destruction of the French Revolution, with
turbulence continuing between Church and State.
This was the era in which she formed
her great wish to help missionaries. She was spurred on in this desire
by her older brother, Phileas, who was preparing to be a priest.
In 1817, while she was praying,
Pauline had a vision of two lamps. One had no oil; the other was
overflowing and from its abundance poured oil into the empty lamp. To
Pauline, the drained lamp signified the faith in France. The
overflowing lamp represented the faith of new Christians in the
Missions. Their faith could revitalize the faith in her homeland!
Pauline knew then that she must work for missionaries. One evening in
1819, a plan came to her as her family played cards and Pauline herself
sat by the fire praying. "Circles of ten" describes her plan: people
would commit themselves to sacrifice a "sou," a very small coin worth
about a penny, every week. Each of these friends would find ten others
who would do the same, and on and on. Pauline recorded that ". . . it
astonished me that no one had thought of such a simple scheme before.
Then I wrote to my brother to tell him of the scheme."
The progress of her idea, however,
was not be smooth.
Opposition to her successful plan
arose and Pauline found herself attacked by some as being overly
THE "IDEA" IS FORMALIZED
On May 3, 1822, in Lyons, a group of men called "Les
Messieurs" gathered to discuss a request for funds for the missions in
Louisiana in the United States. A representative of Louisiana's Bishop
Dubourg, Father Angelo Inglesi, hoped at this meeting to have an
organization set up similar to Pauline's "Propagation" which was doing
so well. The organization he had in mind would be formed to help the
missions in Louisiana which, at that time, extended from the Gulf of
Mexico to Canada.
But "No!" responded Benoit Coste who was one of "Les
Messieurs." He made the point that no one single mission should be sole
beneficiary of funds that were gathered. Any society "Les Messieurs"
would sponsor must help all missions everywhere. (This was just what
Pauline had been hoping to do herself.)
Another of "Les Messieurs," Victor Girodon, spoke glowingly
about the structure of Pauline Jaricot's "Propagation," and the group
voted to adopt it. After a short period of time, Pauline consented to
uniting the collections of her group to that of the new group,
reflecting that it was "a gain for Asia and for other parts of the
world . . . " Pauline was, as she said modestly, "the match that lights
In time, and in accord with the Propagation of the Faith goal
to help all missions, the range of distribution expanded to include
Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands and Australia in addition
to the mission areas of China and the United States (Louisiana and
Kentucky) which were the beneficiaries of the first distribution by the
newly-formed Propagation of the Faith in 1822.
In the first century of its existence, several million dollars
came to the Church in the United States which, until 1908, was "mission
territory." The Fathers of the First Plenary Council of Baltimore, held
in 1852, wrote to the Propagation of the Faith in France: "There is not
here a single diocese the organization of which is complete and which
is capable of responding to the demands of the faithful. New Sees
cannot exist but by your charity . . ." Yet in this same letter, they
notified the Society in France that the bishops in the United States
had "decreed that the Society for the Propagation of the Faith be
established in all their dioceses . . ." That year, the young, poor and
struggling Church in the United States contributed $16,026 to the
Propagation of the Faith.
Today, the Propagation of the Faith-----the
"fire" lit by Pauline Jaricot-----is, under the
direction of the Holy Father, the Church's central means to foster in
all Catholics a deeper sense of universal
THE LATER YEARS
Shortly after the foundation of the Propagation of the Faith,
Pauline Jaricot established the Association of the Living Rosary;
again her method was to form "circles" which would reach out to form
new groups. Later, in a project on behalf of the working class people,
she fell into debt. In her life marked by disappointment, by failure,
by physical and spiritual suffering, she adopted an idea of St. Paul and strove to
die daily to self.
The Cure of Ars,
her spiritual director for many years, made this public tribute to her:
"I know someone who knows how to accept the Cross, and a heavy Cross,
and how to bear it with love! It is Mlle. Jaricot."
Today, Pauline Jaricot's magnificent method of loving
without end lives on, and the cause for her beatification is underway.
What Does Pauline Jaricot Say
To Us Today?
Baptized into the life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
each of us has a responsibility to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in the
world around us and even to the ends of the earth.
But, we may ask, "How?"
We can think of Pauline.
. . . Pauline who cared for the sick in her city and, with her
idea of "prayer and sacrifice," sent her love to each comer of the
We can think of Pauline.
. . . Pauline who accepted the sacrifice of being" anonymous,"
neither seeing the recipients of her mission sacrifices, nor being
known by them.
. . . Pauline who saw that Christ's mission to all peoples was
not something to have in mind from time to time, but daily.
. . . Pauline, the girl with the bright eyes and the world in her heart, who teaches us a way to love without end, and to share our Catholic faith to the ends of the earth.
Pray that the Church, which
has reaped so much from her
"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!
Mary, O my Mother, I am yours!
THE LIVING ROSARY
The graphic set on this page is COPYRIGHTED BY CATHOLIC TRADITION and may not be used on your web page. Usually we are quite permissive about our graphics in order to assist others, but I wanted something special for our Saint, and exclusively for this presentation.-------Web Master. [The above image is not copyrighted in of itself, but the frame is].