Yvonne-Aimèe de Malestroit: Part One

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Paperback | 32 pages.

 

The French mystic and reformer Mother Yvonne-Aimée of Jesus is a unfortunately little known in the English speaking world largely due to the lack of books about her life and work. Happily, the past few years have seen several short works on Mother Yvonne's life translated into English, of which this graphic novel is one. Although the 'comic book' format may be off-putting to those of a more serious bent, it should be noted that these books do give a very good overview of Mother Yvonne's life, with an easy-to-follow chronology.

While the format of the graphic novel requires considerable simplification, the events related in these book are nonetheless factual; the script of the comics draws heavily on Mother Yvonne’s own letters and diary, including quotations from them and her contemporaries correspondence. Many of the scenes are based on actual photographs, and while there are a few anachronisms, the drawings tend to be quite historically accurate.

Part one of this comic series follows Yvonne's childhood and early adulthood, filled with trials and mystical experiences, but eventually ending in her entrance to the monastery of Augustinian Canonesses in Malestroit, Brittany. Events include:

  • first awakenings of her reason and subsequent desire to live only for Jesus.

  • trials and misunderstandings in school continue by her desire to act with supernatural motives.

  • At the age of 13 Yvonne is sent from France to England where she goes to boarding school and desires a religious vocation.

  • Returning to France a few years later, however, her later teenage years are marked with self-sacrifice; while caring for the poor and wishing that she could enter religious life, she is encouraged to choose marriage. She decides to marry a man named Robert….

  • However, illness strikes Robert, and Yvonne herself becomes unwell. She journeys to the convent of Malestroit to convalesce.

  • Severe illness, introduction to the convent’s spiritual director, and several mystical experiences result in Yvonne discovering that Our Lord has a special mission for her; to restore peace to the community of Malestroit which was torn apart by internal conflicts.

  • Yvonne’s mystical experiences continue. Ecclesiastical authorities are notified. After one twist and turn after another, she and they are eventually reassured of the authenticity of her vocation. She is given permission to enter Malestroit.



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