Beatification sought for Paris nun
THE Archbishop of Paris, Mgr. Feltin, has asked French Catholics to help in recovering the letters and papers of Sister Rosalie, a familiar figure for 50 years among the poor people of Paris, with a view to the introduction in Rome of the cause of her beatification.
Sister Rosalie, of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul. was born in 1787 at Conlon, a village in the Abs countryside, where St: Vincent himself spent his early years as a priest.
Jeanne-Marie Rendu—as she was known in the world, made her first Holy Communion in a cave. And it was an outlawed priest who offered the Mass. For this was an era of anti-clerical laws.
When religious peace returned to France, Jeanne-Marie was still a girl.
After several years at a convent, she followed her closest friend into the community of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul.
The school she founded in Paris for destitute children, her hospice for old people and the care she lavished on the people in their homes at all hours attracted the sympathy of Catholics and anti-clericals alike,
In the cholera epidemic of 1832— which claimed more than 100 victims daily in that pestilential area—and during the civil disturbances some years afterwards, her fortitude was outstanding.
On one occasion rebel soldiers were preparing to bring a captured officer before a firing squad in the yard behind her house.
" No kill* here," commanded Sister Rosalie—and the saying is still remembered in Paris as a kind of legend.
She lost the sight of both eyes. She met this misfortune with the remark: "I have had too much pleasure from looking on my poor, so God has taken my sight from me."
Sister Rosalie died in 1856. Police had to hold in check the enormous crowds which gathered for two days at the convent in the rue l'Epte de Bois to file past the catafalque where her body lay.