Nearly 12,000 people attended the beatification of Blessed Pauline Jaricot in Lyon, France, on May 22.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle presided over the beatification Mass in Lyon’s exhibition hall, during which a relic of Jaricot’s heart was carried in procession.
Cardinal Tagle, the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, praised Jaricot for her missionary zeal to bring Jesus’ love to more people.
“We marvel at how docile Pauline Jaricot was to the Holy Spirit, who prompted her with new ideas and initiatives for spreading the Gospel and serving the poor,” Tagle said.
“To love Jesus is to let him, who is the Word of God, live, act and love in me and through me,” Cardinal Tagle said in his homily, which he read in French.
“We see in Pauline Jaricot a living witness to the power of love for Jesus, a love that becomes an identification with Jesus,” he said.
Jaricot, who was a friend of St. John Vianney, founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 1822 when she was in her early twenties. The association helped Catholics to assist the foreign missions through prayer and small donations.
The Pontifical Mission Societies, active in some 120 countries throughout the world, work to animate the faithful in a missionary spirit, and to gather support for the efforts of the Church in some 1,100 missions. There are four Pontifical Mission Societies: The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, The Missionary Childhood Association, The Society of St. Peter Apostle and The Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.
In the Diocese of Harrisburg, the Office of Pontifical Missions has been uplifting missionaries in prayer and financial support since its establishment in 1924.
Among those present at the beatification ceremony were 13-year-old Mayline Tran and her family.
Tran experienced a medically inexplicable healing in 2012 at the age of three that was deemed by a panel of experts to be a medical miracle attributed to Jaricot’s intercession.
Tran had fallen into a coma after suffering from cardiac arrest. The oxygen supply had been cut off to her brain after the three-year-old choked on a small French sausage.
The Tran family, who were not originally from Lyon, had never heard of Pauline Jaricot. But parents at the girl’s Catholic school, connected to Jaricot’s Living Rosary group, organized a prayer novena asking for Jaricot’s intercession for her healing with the participation of the entire school.
The girl made a complete medical recovery within months after doctors had informed the Tran family that their daughter had no chance of being able to walk or talk again.
“Miracles do exist and Mayline is living proof of it,” Emmanuel Tran, her father, told the crowd before the Mass, according to the French daily newspaper Ouest-France.
An Example of Evangelization
On the day of the beatification, Pope Francis praised Jaricot for her courage and vision regarding the Church’s mission.
“May her example enkindle in everyone the desire to participate through prayer and charity in the spread of the Gospel throughout the world,” the pope said from the window of the Vatican’s apostolic palace at the end of his Regina Coeli address.
In a letter read aloud at the beatification, Pope Francis said that he was entrusting the spiritual fruitfulness of the diocese of Lyon to the intercession of Jaricot and St. Irenaeus of Lyon, whom the pope declared a doctor of the Church earlier this year.
“Pauline dedicated her life to the mission, to the service of the poor and to prayer,” the pope wrote in the letter.
“May our charity be as inventive and effective as hers, let us learn to offer generously what we are, our talents to God, and to our brothers and sisters, especially the poorest, to give of our means to support the mission that is incumbent on all of us in the Church to bring the Gospel to the world,” he said.
Documentary to Air
The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States have produced a film, Heart of a Missionary: The Story of Pauline Jaricot, about Pauline’s life, which includes discussion of the miracle that led to her beatification.
The documentary tells Pauline’s story through expert interviews, dramatizations and footage from various mission sites around the world. In addition to Cardinal Tagle and Msgr. Harrington, the film features interviews with Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, International President of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Rome; Father Tadeusz Jan Nowak, OMI, International Secretary General of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome; and Msgr. Philippe Curbelié, postulator, cause of Pauline’s beatification, as well as Church leaders from Uganda and Tanzania.
The film can be streamed in English and Spanish at www.BlessedPauline.org. Broadcasts on Catholic television stations, including EWTN, Catholic TV, NET TV, CTN, and Salt + Light, began Sunday, May 15. In the Harrisburg region, the film will be broadcast on WHTM (ABC 27) on Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m.
For a complete list of broadcast dates and times, visit www.BlessedPauline.org.
(Photos courtesy of Catholic News Agnecy/Diocese of Lyon.)
By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency