Priests determine that they must have Panaghia and Sister Marie agreed and said, “Let’s buy it!”The purchase also would be put in her name. Father Poulin believed that the Lord placed Sister Marie in position to buy the site.
Sister Marie listened to the reports that agreed with the revelations of Sister Anne Catherine and her heart burst with excitement. Her prayers had been answered. She quickly and quietly wrote to Father Fiat, the Superior General of the Daughters of Charity, in Rome to request permission to purchase, with her own personal funds, the property on which Mary’s Home was located. In his letter dated 28 October 1891, he gave Sister Marie permission to buy Panaghia.
Father Fiat’s permission was a complete change of stance and fell in line with Father Poulin’s and Father Jung’s ideas, that this truly was the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist.
A little later the priests spoke to Sister Marie about the necessity to protect their work and procure ownership of the site. They deemed it absolutely necessary. Some said, “How good it would be if we had that.” Later, they said “We should have this!” Then they said “We must have this!”
The idea made its way into their spirits. But could they buy it? Father Poulin wrote that they couldn’t think about it with this enormous debt of 300-400 thousand francs and with a return of zero. Otherwise, Paris would never permit a similar acquisition. To whom would they turn? The answer was not long in coming to them.
Sister Marie couldn’t have agreed more. For years, she had been thinking about the Blessed Virgin’s grave, looked forward to its discovery and when she had been told about the opportunity to buy Panaghia, her heart was full of joy and she said, “Do . . . let’s buy it.” She knew very well that she would have the funds available to her to make the purchase.
“In whose name should it be?” they asked. “In the name of the Superior General, or the name of the Superior of Smyrna?”
“In my name,” she said firmly. She had the right to claim it and have active participation in the development of the site. They had no doubt that she would
somehow cover the costs.
Later, Father Poulin would write, “The Lord, who sees and organizes things, had taken care to put before us a soul in love with beauty and goodness, who was ready to give herself to everything good, a great soul, devoted, ardent, pious and generous; the noble Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey. She was, God has chosen her to be, the terrestrial Providence, like Panaghia’s Mother! For twelve years she has been charged of this valiant religious enterprise; she has never failed.”
To have the good fortune to meet Sister Marie and to see the humility hidden under her noble pride, the shout of “in my name” does not come as a surprise. She should be permitted to feel great satisfaction to think she could give her family name to the blessed spot from where the Holy Virgin – and she had no doubt about this – was taken up to Heaven.
After a few years, she would demand and insist that a transfer be made to ensure as much as possible the future of Panaghia. So it was decided to be done in the name of Father Poulin, Superior of the Church of the Sacred Heart. After many difficulties, on May 11, 1910, the new title was obtained and was so well done that a last will of Father Poulin allowed his successor to recover the property that would be confiscated during World War I.
“It is well understood,” Father Poulin stated “that Sister Grancey remains Mistress and Superior of Panaghia as before the transfer, the said transfer having for its goal only to assure the property after her death and not to take it from her.”
Segment 17: Purchase of Panaghia wouldn’t be easy, and they didn’t know who owned it.
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" 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