Jeanne Jugan: Humble So As To Love More

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Paperback, 230 pages, with illustrations

From the back cover:

It is 1839. Jeanne Jugan is 47 years old when she takes into her home first one old woman, blind, sick, and destitute, then another, then another….To feed them, she tours the streets with a begging basket. Everything she does is inspired by her faith in God and her openness to the needs of others. Soon, along with her companions, she is carrying out the same acts of charity elsewhere. ‘It may seem like foolishness, but if God is with us, our work will grow.’

When Jeanne Jugan died forty years later there were 2800 Little Sisters of the Poor in France, England, Belgium, Scotland, Spain, Ireland, the United States, Algeria, Italy, and Malta…. Yet, by an astonishing turn of events, the foundress and the first Little Sister had been unjustly removed from the mission to which god had called her. The last years of her life were lived in seclusion at the Mother House, where her kindness, wisdom and joy were shared with those around her. She humbled herself so as to love more: this Jeanne’s own ‘little way’ of poverty and renunciation. In her heart open to the sufferings of others, we can see reflected God’s mercy and compassion; in her hands outstretched to the poor, we can see the richness and perseverance of God’s love.

Today, in thirty-one countries across five continents, Jeanne Jugan continues, through her Sisters, this work of God: the unselfish service of the elderly and the joyful pursuit of a united human family. The future Pope John XXIII said on visiting the house in Saint-Servan where the congregation was founded, ‘Here I have been able to see with my own eyes how the work of God is accomplished.’


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