Founder of the Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Pauline Marie Jaricot, was beatified Sunday, 22 May, in a solemn Eucharistic celebration held in Lyon, France.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, presided over the beatification Mass.

Over 500 priests at the Mass

The beatification ceremony was concelebrated by several Bishops and more than 500 priests from all over the world.

Together with the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lyon, Olivier de Germay, Cardinal Tagle further welcomed the 120 National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) who travelled to see their founder beatified. In fact, the annual General Assembly of the National PMS Directors, usually held in Italy, is this year, taking place in Lyon.

Cardinal Tagle: Jaricot loved Jesus

In his homily, Cardinal Tagle told the faithful, “Pauline Jaricot was a woman who loved Jesus Christ, letting Him, the Word of God, live, act, love in her and through her. We see in her a living testimony of the power of love for Jesus, a love that identifies with Jesus,” the Cardinal said.

Jaricot was docile to the Holy Spirit, who pushed her with new ideas and initiatives to spread the Gospel and serve the poor. Noting her extraordinary spiritual and missionary insights, the Cardinal added, “The Holy Spirit opens new paths so that the Word and love of Jesus can reach more people. In this, Jaricot followed the great spiritual and social tradition of the Church of Lyon,” he said.

A remarkable woman

The local Lyon community, led by Archbishop de Germay, demonstrated how it wholeheartedly welcomed the beatification. The Archbishop said Jaricot was “a contemplative and active woman -all at the same time.” As a wealthy woman, explained the Archbishop, Jaricot eventually “found herself poor, humiliated, and forgotten,” he said.

Jaricot lived a life dedicated to evangelisation and the missions. The motto, “A Penny and A Prayer” for the missions aptly sums up her life. It is a remarkable testament to a young woman who founded PMS in her teens.

The prayers and the contributions encouraged by Jaricot for the missions were decisive for the growth and development of particular mission Churches in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific.

Founded 200 years ago, the Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith supports the Church’s missionary-related projects with prayer, animation and finances.

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