The political and social climate in France in 1847 was anything but favourable to religious congregations. Despite a decree prohibiting the establishment of further religious communities, the Archbishop of Paris, Monseigneur Affre, who had known Marie Madeleine when he was a priest in Amiens and was her friend and a supporter of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, warmly welcomed the Sisters to his Archdiocese.
It was not a sudden impulse that directed Marie Madeleine to Paris. She had considered the idea for some time. A house in the capital would provide the opportunity to work with the poor, be a pied à terre for herself and her sisters on their frequent journeys, and provide a more convenient administrative centre for the Society. Further, it could become her place of residence when she was not visiting the houses.
It was January 1848 when Marie Madeleine bought the Paris property and political tension was high. The unrest of subsequent months culminated in a revolution that summer. There were violent clashes in the streets, many deaths and much sorrow. In July, Monseigneur Affre lost his life in an heroic attempt to bring peace at the barricades. Marie Madeleine wrote, From time to time, just when the need is greatest, God raises up a protector for us; he then withdraws him, leaving us again without human support. Monseigneur was our one support in Paris.
In the months following the summer Revolution, Marie Madeleine remained in Paris to care for the children in greatest need. She washed, dressed and fed them. To those advising her to spare herself, because of her age and poor health, she gave a characteristic reply: We should work not as ladies to pass the time but as do the poor to earn their living. Having experienced life as a lady she was able to appreciate the difference!
Throughout the political unrest the Sisters worked for the poor of the district. Eventually a school was established, together with an administrative centre and a novitiate. The house became Marie Madeleine’s residence and she lived there between her visits to the other houses in France, as well as to those in Italy (Savoy), Switzerland, Ireland and England.
The Paris house was born amidst great political unrest and uncertainty, and Marie Madeleine always encouraged her sisters to have a special regard for this house. It was here that she died on April 5th 1858.
To this day, the room in which she died is preserved as a place of prayer and pilgrimage. Beside her room is a small museum containing things precious to her memory.
Marie Madeleine’s room in Paris, the place where she died
Travelling from Issoudun to Bourges you normally (though not inevitably) enter the city over Pont d’Auron and it is from this bridge that Notre Dame du Pont, the statue preserved in Marie Madeleine’s room in Paris (and shown at the bottom right), takes its name. Originally it stood in one of the niches in the bridge. Rescued by M de Bengy to prevent desecration, it was later given by him to Mére Legrand around 1827/8 and taken to Châteauroux. It was there that in 1830/1 Mère de Courville experienced it weeping. Since that time its journey has taken it from Châteauroux to Turin, Carouge and finally Paris in 1850.
A tour of the artefacts from the life of Marie Madeleine in our Paris museum
The award is for “offering care and support to vulnerable people in the community for 50 years".
I am proud of you Sr. Christine and other people in Neighbours in Poplar. Thank you for your great job for the people.
Monica congratulations. You are your group deserves this . You have been so devoted to the people .i am so proud of you. Cousin. Xxxxxx
Hearty congratulations to Sr Christine FCJ and Neighbours in Poplar, London for achieving the Queens Award and for the caring multifaith community over many, many years. Wonderful example of what is possible. Thank you to all.
Well done Christine FCJ and neighbours in Poplar! We celebrate your witness of love and service over decades...
Last week on the motorway I was driving behind a van which was advertising something. (Actually I have no idea what!!!!) The advertising slogan they had used &lpar...
What to do this Summer?Have a look at these opportunities:World Youth Day at Home WydathomeukMAG+S: magisuk.orgFCJ Vocations Weekend: @fcjsistersCOMPASS Summer Discernment School: www.compass-points.org.uk/FCJ Sisters will be at all of these events! Come and say hello.#fgiat #faith #summer #joy #prayer ... See MoreSee Less
"The Lord’s call is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking." (Pope Francis - Message for World Day of prayer for Vocations)There is nothing quite like religious life – it’s an extraordinary adventure into a deep relationship with God.
If you are wondering if God is calling you to religious life and would like to find out more, why not come along? ... See MoreSee Less
As we prepare for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, here is part of Pope Francis' message...Building on what I shared with the young people in Panama, I would like to reflect, on this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, on how the Lord’s call makes us bearers of a promise and, at the same time, asks of us the courage to take a risk, with him and for him. I will do this by reflecting briefly with you on these two aspects – promise and risk – as they appear in the Gospel account of the calling of the first disciples by the sea of Galilee (Mk 1:16-20).
Two pairs of brothers – Simon and Andrew, and James and John – are going about their daily tasks as fishermen. In this demanding work, they had learned the laws of nature, yet at times, when the winds were adverse and waves shook their boats, they had to defy the elements. On some days, the catch of fish amply repaid their efforts, but on others, an entire night’s work was not sufficient to fill their nets, and they had to return to shore weary and disappointed.
Much of life is like that. Each of us tries to realize his or her deepest desires; we engage in activities that we hope will prove enriching, and we put out on a “sea” of possibilities in the hope of steering the right course, one that will satisfy our thirst for happiness. Sometimes we enjoy a good catch, while at others, we need courage to keep our boat from being tossed by the waves, or we are frustrated at seeing our nets come up empty.
As with every call, the Gospel speaks of an encounter. Jesus walks by, sees those fishermen, and walks up to them... The same thing happened when we met the person we wanted to marry, or when we first felt the attraction of a life of consecration: we were surprised by an encounter, and at that moment we glimpsed the promise of a joy capable of bringing fulfilment to our lives. That day, by the sea of Galilee, Jesus drew near to those fishermen, breaking through the “paralysis of routine” (Homily for the XXII World Day for Consecrated Life, 2 February 2018). And he immediately made them a promise: “I will make you fishers of men” (Mk 1:17). ... See MoreSee Less
FCJ sisters arrived in Sierra Leone in 1979. After fruitful ministry there, they were forced to flee in 1995 in the middle of the terrible war in that country. Almost twenty-five years later, Sisters Margaret and Judith, fcJ were able to return to Sierra Leone. ... See MoreSee Less
FcJ Sisters across the world joined this initiative.
Earth Hour Iconic landmarks across Europe switch off for nature!! We’re thrilled to have #Netherland #France #Georgia #Finland #Greece #Italy #Romania #Spain #Bulgaria #UK and #Latvia participate in this symbolic gesture of hope for our planet. Thank you for your support! ... See MoreSee Less