Pope Francis highlights the importance of Consecrated Women in the Church

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Last Monday, Pope Francis received the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret, a congregation founded in the French city of Besançon in 1799

Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret, foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret

Rome (12/10/2021 18:30, Gaudium Press) The General Chapter of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antide Thouret is being held in Rome until October 15. The opening of the General Chapter coincided with the beginning of the Synod on Synodality.

Pope Francis took the opportunity to comment on the coincidence, highlighting the role of women in the Church.

And he thanked the institutes of consecrated life for their role in contributing to synodality: “The commitment we make as a Church to grow in synodality is also a strong incitement for institutes of consecrated life”.

Regarding the theme of the 21st General Chapter, “Starting afresh from Bethany with the solicitude of Martha and listening to Mary,” Francis commented that they are two very important disciples in the life of Jesus and the Apostles.

The Pontiff added that consecrated women are irreplaceable at the heart of the Church and evoked the example of the Holy Women who accompanied the Apostles: “I like to think that you, consecrated women, are an extension of the feminine presence that walked with Jesus and the Twelve, sharing the mission and bringing a particular contribution.”

The Pope also emphasised that the quality of being baptised makes us disciples of Jesus and “living presence in the Church”. Before blessing the religious, Francis mentioned the care for the poor, something that is in the charism of the congregation.

The Daughters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret

In 1787, Jeanne Antide Thouret (1765-1826) entered religious life with the Daughters of Charity. But the French Revolution dispersed the religious sisters and Jeanne was forced to leave the Congregation.

Jeanne, who never gave up her religious vocation, then founded the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide in 1799, who dedicated themselves especially to the poor and needy: especially with teaching and caring for the sick.

Canonised in 1934, Saint Joan left behind a congregation which currently numbers around 5,000 religious spread throughout various countries who act according to the initial charism. (FM)

 

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