From Marie-Geneviève Renaud fcJ


For a few years, I have been working on the letters of our foundress, Marie Madeleine d’Houët, and I have learnt to know her quite well and to love her deeply, and for many years I have been praying that she would come back to Paris. In my heart I knew she would one day come back, her cause having been introduced in Paris, but I did not know if I would see the day. When I used to visit Stella Maris, several times a day I would go to chapel and sit near her tomb and ask her to listen to me and my needs! She drew me there, the attraction was powerful and I could not explain why. When I heard that we had to prepare a resting place for her in Paris, I felt relieved and peaceful about it, and I felt a great joy indeed. The preparation has been hard work, without doubt.

I was privileged to be in Stella Maris for the opening of her tomb. At first it was a painful experience for me! When I am reading her letters, our Venerable Mother is alive and I am often reacting to what she said or did for she is so alive in her letters. I may not always agree with her, but there is life. But in front of her mortal remains, I felt absolutely lost. Maybe I was expecting to experience her in a miraculously alive way! Instead there was the sad reality of death. Of course, she was not present in her tomb; she is glorifying God eternally in love and joy. This step was taken to go forward.

When the reliquaire arrived in our chapel it was fascinating, her presence was felt at once, her bedroom door being opened, everything seemed familiar, and she drew us to her. I thank God for this extraordinary grace of having her with us for a day. What a privilege we had; she was ours! When the funeral Agency came to fetch her, and take her to the church, I was submerged with feelings. We had to say good-bye, forever, she was not going to be ours anymore, we were giving her to the Church. It was a strange experience. Another step was taken forward! The Postulator told me that it was a beautiful experience that each FCJ and also her family have to have from now on, if we do not want to have a shock when she is beatified and when the gift of her life will be made public.

The church was beautifully decorated, the celebration was superb, the singing, the participation, the devotion of the assembly was palpable. Mgr Eric de Moulins-Beaufort spoke beautifully of our foundress. We thought and prayed in union with all the FCJs and Companions in the world. The Lord has been glorified in a beautiful way. Now our foundress is resting in a beautiful reliquaire near the Blessed Sacrament. Let us hope that her presence will draw people to let themselves be loved by the Lord and to be companions of Jesus for the greatest glory of God.

6 Responses to “From Marie-Geneviève Renaud fcJ”

  1. Denise Says:

    Thank you so much for your passionate express of love and letting go…indeed the Lord has been glorified not only by Marie Madeleine by you!

  2. Denise Says:

    Meant to say: Marie-Geneviève,
    Thank you so much for your passionate expression of love and letting go…indeed the Lord has been glorified not only by Marie Madeleine but by you!

  3. Gigi Says:

    Reblogged this on Born Special.

  4. Gigi Says:

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I’m new to the FCJ family and I appreciate the way you have allowed yourself to be moved, and then express that so beautifully. Merci beaucoup.

  5. clarefcj Says:

    Thank you so much for this beautiful sharing…I too am deeply touched by your thoughts on “letting go.” I really appreciate your reflections on the whole experience. May we now live in a way that expresses Marie Madeleine’s vision and may we serve God’s people!

  6. Sr Christine Anderson FCJ Says:

    Marie Geneviève what you said about these events in Paris and in Broadstairs is so true. It brought back to me again and again the extraordinary grace we all experienced as we took part in these celebrations. For me it was so moving also to see her family members carry Our Venerable Mother’s mortal remains to her final resting place. I totally agree – the whole event went so beautifully and we thank God but also you and so many others involved in preparing this day.

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