" I am not a priest and cannot bless them, but all that the heart of a mother can ask of God for her children, I ask of Him and will never cease to ask Him." ~ Sister Marie
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Marie’s decision to become a Daughter of Charity shocked her family, especially her brother Antonin. She also writes a letter to her grandfather and explains that she decided to make a sacrifice because of God’s calling and she became totally committed to the daughters.
Marie’s announcement surprised the family and she explained to her Grandfather how God sought her sacrifice in a letter written the night before she left her paternal home for good.
When Marie announced to her family that she desired to enter the company, they were shocked. Word of the Daughters’ charitable works had spread throughout all of France and even beyond. The family greatly appreciated them, but for Marie to become one of them . . . well, that was something that had to be given careful consideration.
Antonin, her brother, strongly objected but he gave no definite reason why. It could have been because Marie would make a complete change in her life, or maybe because of the kind of work which nobility was not accustomed to do. It also could have been her exposure to infection from diseases, but it most likely was because that once she took the step, she would be permanently separated from family.
After the family sat down and discussed it, Antonin withdrew his objection. Marie penned a letter to her grandfather, the Marquis de Cordoue on 26 May 1857:
She wrote in part: The time has come for me to realize a project I have been forming for a long time and what Mom must have talked to you about. Maybe you have already guessed what my decision was.
For too many times my conduct did not match my desire, or what I hope to be my vocation. Often, I am afraid I failed in my duty as a granddaughter, and today more than ever I need to ask for your forgiveness. Please forget, dear Granddad, all you ever had to blame me for. Forgive the pain I might have ever caused you, and do not refuse to give me your blessing in this important step.
Do I need to ask you, dear Granddad, to help me with your prayers in the days to come? Tonight I will have left my paternal home, maybe forever. I do judge myself happy to offer God the sacrifice that He appears to be asking of me in this moment, but I do have a broken heart when I see the regrets I leave behind me, regrets I only well know I deserve. Goodbye, dear Granddad. It is not necessary I hope, to ask you to believe that even in my absence the affection I have for you will always stay the same. A thousand affectionate kisses from your respectful and devoted granddaughter.
What made Marie’s decision to join the Daughters of Charity so difficult was that when a young lady entered the DC in that era, she never went back to her own home. The separation was permanent; commitment to the daughters would be total; and go where she is called to go.
The family is noted in French and Ecclesiastical history as both noble and holy. It’s distinguished by the motto, Enmese et Verbo – “By the sword and the word.”
Segment 3: Sister Marie’s first assignment and the duties she undertakes.
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