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Pauline Jaricot was born into a wealthy French family, yet she decided at a young age to reject high society and instead devote her life to God and His Church. On Sunday, admirers of her work will find Jaricot one step closer to sainthood. Church Militant's Kim Tisor tells her story.
Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington, national director, Pontifical Mission Societies, USA: "All over the world today, there's no place you can go that it's not been touched by Pauline Jaricot."
Pauline Jaricot established the Society of the Propagation of the Faith in her hometown of Lyon, France, in 1822, to support Catholic missionaries. She was just 23 at the time. What began as small gatherings to pray and raise funds grew to a global organization that eventually sparked today's World Mission Sunday.
Before the age of 30, Jaricot started the Association of the Living Rosary. Members distributed Rosaries, prayer leaflets and devotionals. Jaricot revealed that through praying the Rosary, she received a humble heart and peace for her soul.
Pope Saint John XXIII declared her "venerable" in 1963. Then, a miracle attributed to her occurred 10 years ago this month. A girl declared brain dead following a choking incident was fully healed after friends and family prayed for Jaricot's intercession. Her beatification is set for Sunday in Lyon, during the Society for the Propagation of the Faith's 200th anniversary.
Pope Francis wrote of Jaricot, "The Church testifies that she knew how to accumulate treasures in Heaven" and she revealed the secret of life that "only by losing it is it found."
Pauline Jaricot was forced into bankruptcy toward the end of her life, following a bad business deal that was meant to help the poor. While she died penniless, she remained rich in her love for Christ and His Church.
As a reminder, for canonization to occur, a second miracle will need to be attributed to Jaricot. If you'd like to know more about Ven. Pauline Jaricot's life, watch the documentary Heart of a Missionary: The Story of Pauline Jaricot. It's available on YouTube and elsewhere online.
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