"Keep God's presence in all your actions"

on 25 Oct, 2020
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Perico (Cuba), 25/10/2020, Sr. Gladis Rodriguez Estepa.- For those who wish to get to know Blessed Marie Poussepin, foundress of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin. Within the framework of the celebration of 25 years of grace for: The Beatification of Marie Poussepin, "Social Apostle of Charity", carried out in Rome on November 20, 1994, by Saint John Paul II, receive my warm greetings.

I give a brief overview of the life of Marie Poussepin 1653 -1744: She was born in Dourdan, France, on October 14, 1653 and she was baptized the same day she was born. She grew up in a Christian family where faith, work and commitment were profound. Her father Claude Poussepin and her mother Julienne Fourrier were owners of the silk-stocking factory, work with which they earned their living. As a child, Marie Poussepin accompanied her mother to the charitable services of the parish and there she drank the spirit of charity which was the driving force of her life.

Thus "she saw what was right in the eyes of God and fulfilled it", and like St. Dominic, whose devotion she professed, she spoke to God, of people and to people she spoke of God. Inspired by Providence, in 1696, she left her prosperous home town of Dourdan to go to the humble village of Sainville, a small piece of land devastated by war, misery and ignorance, where she found widows, orphans and all sorts of difficulties that deeply touched her heart of mercy and compassion and led her to found her community there to relieve so much misery and ignorance.

She built a house where she and her sisters could live the Gospel. "The piety of the former attracted the latter. This is how her work grew, with strong roots in her native country, France; roots that spread throughout America and Asia and from there the first six French sisters arrived in Colombia, the cradle of the Presentation in America: Sr Pauline.  Sr. Émerence, Sr. Marie Françoise, Sr. Augustin Marie, Sr. Saint Paul and Sr. Gaetan. They arrived at the hospital of Saint-Jean-de-Dieu where they showed charity to the sick and at the hospice to the orphans. Their testimony attracted young people who wanted to dedicate themselves like them to the service of God and their neighbor. In this way, the Presentation developed and opened its work to education in the Colleges and in the free schools. In this way, the proclamation of Jesus Christ is realized through the exercise of charity which becomes a preaching mission. 

The Congregation has been at the service of the Church for 324 years, wherever our neediest brothers and sisters ask for our presence, providing services in hospitals and health centres, in colleges and schools and in parish ministry. We are on 4 continents : Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Lord continues today to call women who want to dedicate themselves to the service of God and their neighbors, to announce the Good News of the Kingdom. "The time is surely coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. " (Amos 8:11). Marie Poussepin lived poorly, always trusting in Providence, which is why she wrote in her will: "Having kept nothing for myself, I possess nothing". She emptied herself completely, to serve the neediest of her time.

Today, in the 21st century, we are called to live "the service of charity" in such a way that with an open mind and heart, with the grace of God and the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the Presentation, we can respond to the needs of today's people, people of communications, technology, progress... but... people far from God, dominated by the ambition of having and power.

In order to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ in the services we render from our charism, to live and die in the service of the Church in the exercise of charity, it is necessary to open our hearts and to welcome the grace of God at this moment in the history of humanity with the traits of family; piety, simplicity and work. When I met Marie Poussepin and her work, as a Sister of Charity, a Dominican Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, I said goodbye to her daughters with this phrase from Marie Poussepin: "Humility makes everything easy".

I thank God for having allowed me to come to you with this little letter that allows you to come closer to Jesus Christ and that through a service of charity you can consecrate yourself to God according to the Charism of Marie Poussepin. May God pour abundant graces and blessings on this work of "SERVICE OF CHARITY" which has been inspired to him and may he enrich it with many vocations. With fraternal affection.