Marie-Eugénie de Jésus
|Saint Marie-Eugénie de Jésus, R.A.|
August 25, 1817|
Metz, Moselle, France
|Died||March 10, 1898
Paris, Île-de-France, France
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||9 February 1975 by Pope Paul VI|
|Canonized||3 June 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI|
Saint Marie-Eugénie de Jésus. R.A., born Anne-Eugénie Milleret de Brou, (August 25, 1817 – March 10, 1898) was a Catholic religious sister who founded the religious congregation of the Religious of the Assumption in 1839.
Anne-Eugénie was born in 1817 in Metz into a wealthy family and grew up in a chateau in the suburb of Priesch, north of Paris. When she was 13, her father lost all his money and their estate. Her parents separated and she moved to Paris with her mother. Her mother had a deep concern for the poor of the city, and she often accompanied her mother visiting families in need. Her mother died of cholera when Anne-Eugénie was 15 years old. She spent the remainder of her teenage years tossed between two sets of relations, one of whom she found concerned only with worldly pleasures, the other as having a narrow spirit of piety. She was separated from the brother who had been her main companion as a child, and she wondered about life and how to live out the spirit of faith and justice her mother had taught her.
At the age of 12, Anne-Eugénie made her First Holy Communion and it proved to be a life-changing experience for her. Through receiving this sacrament, she experienced the presence of God, a mystical moment, one about which she would talk throughout the rest of her life.
During Lent, while she was in her late teenage years, she was invited to listen to a series of lectures at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, given by the then-Abbé Lacordaire, a famous preacher and social commentator of that period. Lacordaire was about to leave for Italy to enter the Dominican Order and lead its re-establishment in France. As a result of his preaching, Anne-Eugénie had a conversion experience, became passionate about the Word of God, and became a dedicated Christian. She then went to confession with the Abbé Théodore Combalot, an associate of Lacordaire. Combalot told her that he was looking for someone to help him found a religious order devoted to Mary and to the education of the poor, and thought that Anne-Eugénie would be such a foundress. At the age of 22, with four young companions, she founded the Religious of the Assumption.
The congregation began in a small apartment on the Rue Ferou, Paris, and celebrated their first Mass together as a religious congregation on November 9, 1839. Today, the motherhouse of the Religious of the Assumption is on the Rue de l'Assomption, Paris. Over the years, Mother Marie-Eugénie founded thirty religious communities in nine countries.
As of 2007, the Religious of the Assumption included 1,300 Sisters from 44 nationalities, located in 34 countries on four continents. From the beginning, the order's work would be a partnership with the laity. Today's Assumption is a lay and religious partnership.
"Education is to allow the good in every person to breakthrough the rock that imprisons it and bring it into the light where it can blossom and shed its light..." - St. Marie Eugénie de Jesus, Foundress, Religious of the Assumption.