The community of Bignan, Brittany, remembers Mother Marie de Saint Charles. An occasion for the Sisters of this house, the first community of the Daughters of Jesus and inhabited since 1834, to celebrate in a special way.
In 2020, the Congregation entered into a year-long celebration of different anniversaries. These include the 200th anniversary of the birth of Mother Marie de St Charles, one of our first Superior Generals and an important personality who continues to influence the spirituality of the Congregation today. On May 3rd however, Sr. Marie-Thérèse suggested that we enact the memory not of her birth but of her passage “into the clarity of the Risen One ». It was in these terms that Father Jégouzo, the then Ecclesiastical Superior of the Congregation, announced to the Sisters the death of their Superior General on May 3rd, 1884.
A journey in time
In community we began by evoking the presence of Mother St Charles with a visit to the places she once inhabited. As we went in procession, we sang and prayed:
“Je crois en Toi, mon Dieu…” (Nearer my God, to thee … in English)
“Saints of God…”.
Sharing and thanksgiving
Then, in the chapel, it was time to listen to the reading of documents from the archives that relate the last moments of Mother Marie de St Charles. Finally, we shared a time of prayer and thanksgiving for the spiritual journey that Mother Marie de St Charles had led the Sisters of the Congregation on. We gave thanks in particular for the Spirit of Faith that helps us to “see God in all things and all things in God” (Rule of Life no 7) and that teaches us to turn obstacles into means to move towards Him.
“Jesus who lives in heaven
And reigns near God
I will go to thy light, O risen Christ…”
(The Canticle of Paradise written in the 6th century by the Breton saint, St Hervé)
A privilege to live in these places
As we have noted in our Apostolic Community Project, we are still happy today to hear her message of Mother Marie de St Charles:
“that faith has the secret of communicating to us
calm, peace and even a certain joy
in the midst of life’s trials”.
The Sisters of the community of Bignan, France