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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Exclusive Representation of the Nativity Scene.
The Congregations of the Blessed Virgin have always been the garden where Jesus gathered His most fervent spouses like beautiful flowers. Even today, His hand often reaches out to pluck some flower from them, which she plants on the blessed soil of religious life.
Mary, a young girl member of the Congregation established at the Sacred Heart Workhouse, had, since the age of twelve, a strong desire to consecrate herself to God. Her parents, poor farmers who had been forced to abandon their smallholding by successive misfortunes, lived in poverty in Laval. While the mother was weaving, Mary, as the eldest, looked after the five small children who followed her. Active and hard-working, she still contributed to the family’s subsistence through her work. Before making a small retreat, she shortened her sleep for a few weeks, to earn what her parents would have earned from the three days she wanted to give to prayer. Her mother could not hear of a religious life for her. However, the superior of the community told her clearly: “I will not receive you until you have obtained your mother’s consent and she has decided to bring you herself.” This condition seemed unattainable to the poor child, when her mother, after a thousand refusals, threw down to her as a challenge: “Give me four hundred francs, and I will let you go!” Four hundred francs! it was a fortune to make for Mary, who had not a cent, and who could take nothing from her accustomed work, which she was already prolonging too far into the night. But the fervent Congregationalist was not discouraged: I will ask for alms! she cried.
It was the month of March: the young girl received a statuette of Saint Joseph, containing her first alms. The next day, she went to take communion at Saint-Joseph-des-Champs, a famous pilgrimage in the vicinity of Laval, and there she began her quest. With rejections and affronts, she soon collected 60 francs, 100 francs, 200 francs. A child of Mary raised her little treasure to 300 francs in one fell swoop.
The month of May approached, and it was under the auspices of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the pious Congregant wanted to make her entry into religion. Always accompanied by her powerful Protector, she struck again; but her delicacy did not allow her to present herself in the houses that had welcomed her the first time, and everywhere else she received only humiliation. Then looking at her little statue, “My good Saint,” she said to him, “it is good for me, but it does not fill my purse!” Finally, she meets one of her first benefactors, who asks her how much more she needs. ”Alas! Miss, 70 francs! – Well, here they are: take this bill to the Sacred Heart.” Mary no longer possessed herself with joy, already she was at the feet of the Superior, and soon Jesus Christ counted her among His wives.
Faithful guardian, Saint Joseph watched over the two greatest treasures that the earth has ever borne with love and diligence. Let us turn to him as to the best of fathers: he will not fail us.