Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Living Rosary and the Pontifical Missionary Works will be beatified

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Known as the “mother of the missions,” Venerable Pauline Jaricot will be beatified on May 22 in Lyon, France.

Newsroom (October 7, 2021, 9:15 PM, Gaudium Press) As announced by Gaëtan Boucharlat, Secretary-General of the Pontifical Missionary Works (OPM), the beatification ceremony of Pauline Jaricot, founder of the OPM, will take place on May 22, 2022, in Lyon.

The Holy Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the dicastery in charge of the OPM.

Pauline Jaricot was born in 1799 to a wealthy family of silk merchants in Lyon, France. Pauline was the youngest of 7 siblings and grew up in a Catholic environment that promoted sharing and helping others. 

Who is Pauline Jaricot?

At the age of 17, Pauline took the vow of chastity before Our Lady of Fourvière at Christmas in 1816. Although she took the vow, Pauline remained a laywoman and had no intention of joining a religious order. Pauline dedicated her life to charity. 

In 1817, Pauline founded “The Repairers of the Heart of Jesus, unknown and despised” with a group of silk factory workers.

The following year, Pauline became aware of the precarious economic situation of the Missions in China that were carried out by the Fathers of the Foreign Missions in Paris, in the Rue de Bac. 

Foundation of the Work of “Propagation of the Faith” and of the “Living Rosary”.

Pauline, together with the Reparatory Sisters, set up a system of donations to contribute to the development of the missions; based on groups of 10 persons, each person, in turn, forming a group of another 10 persons, and so on.

Pauline came to have thousands of associates with the commitment to support with a weekly contribution in order to sustain the missions.

Thus was born the Work of the Propagation of the Faith, later transformed into the Pontifical Missionary Works, as requested by Pope Pius IX in 1862.

Based on the same system of collection, Pauline founded the “Living Rosary”, which consists of a group of 15 persons who are each responsible for the recitation of a mystery of the Rosary.

Concern for the workers

Throughout her life, Pauline was concerned about the situation of workers both spiritually and materially. In fact, in 1845 she used her entire fortune to buy the mill of Our Lady of the Angels, where the workers could have decent working conditions along with a well-lived Catholic life.

Unfortunately, those responsible for the financial management of the mill acted in bad faith and embezzled a good portion of the money acquired. Pauline tried to get the mill back on its feet, but the lawsuits against her business did not allow her plans to succeed.

Death in bankruptcy and abandoned

Pauline considered herself betrayed and saw her wishes crumble. Even while she was ill and experienced financial ruin, Pauline’s concern for her fellow man never ceased. On the morning of January 9, 1862, Pauline died in misery and was buried in the family tomb, only the closest workers attended the funeral. Her remains are currently in the Saint-Nizer church in Lyon.

Pauline Jaricot’s canonization process was opened at the request of Pope Pius XI in 1926. Declared Venerable by John XXIII in 1968, Pauline will be beatified next May 2022. (FM)

Compiled by Sarah Gangl

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