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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blessed Marie Poussepin, memorial

Blessed Marie Poussepin was well remembered and long honored on this day by the Order of Preachers before her official beatification by Pope John Paul II in 1994.

Born on this day in 1653 in France, she was raised by a pious mother. Her mother was the treasurer of the Confraternity of Charity when founded by a diciple of St. Vincent de Paul in 1663. On her mother's death, she took on all her mother's domestic responsibiliies while helping with her father's knitting factory and continuing works of charity.

Inheriting her family's debt and with the factory in trouble after her father's death, she had the foresight to convert the factory from hand-knitting to machines and save the business. She learned how to operate all the machineray herself and personally trained her hired apprentices. She was also ahead of her time in her Christian treatment of employees which was not common in her time.

She became a 3rd order dominican when she was 37. She then slowly transitioned control of the family business to her brother so she could devote herselt to her calling of charitble works. In 1693 she became president of the Confraternity of Charity. When she was 42 she left her hometown of Dourdan and resettled in Sainville to establish a new Dominican 3rd order: Congregation of the Sisters of Charity (Dominicans of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin). The community received legal recognition in France from King Louis XV in 1724; the bishop of Chartes approved the rule of her order in 1738.

At the time of her death when she was 90, there we 20 communities of her order in France! Today, the congregations of the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation (another name they are know as) can be found in 36 countries all over the world.


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