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St. Mary Eugenie of Jesus


Feastday: March 10
Patron: Religious of the Assumption Students
Birth: August 25, 1817
Death: March 10, 1898
Beatified: February 9, 1975, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Paul VI
Canonized: June 3, 2007, Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI

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In the heart of 19th-century France, a remarkable woman emerged, shaping the course of history with her unwavering devotion and boundless love. St. Marie Eugenie, known for her founding role in the Religious of the Assumption, stands as a beacon of faith and compassion, her life a testament to the transformative power of divine calling.

Born Anne Eugenie Milleret in 1817, her early years were steeped in privilege, yet devoid of spiritual nourishment. Despite this, a divine whisper echoed in her soul, guiding her towards a profound encounter with God. At the tender age of twelve, during her first communion, a celestial promise resonated within her: "You will lose your mother, but I shall be for you more than a mother."

Tragedy struck swiftly, as financial ruin tore her family apart, leaving Anne Eugenie orphaned and adrift in a world of uncertainty. Yet, in the depths of despair, a flicker of hope ignited within her soul. Drawn to the sermons of the renowned Lacordaire at Notre Dame Cathedral, she found solace and purpose in the embrace of faith. It was here that her divine calling began to crystallize, a calling she would later describe as originating from the hallowed halls of Notre Dame.

Guided by providence, Anne Eugenie's path intersected with that of Fr. Combalot, a pivotal moment that would shape the course of her life. Encouraged by two profound friendships--with Sr. Therese Emmanuel and the revered priest Emmanuel d'Alzon--she embarked on a journey of spiritual growth and service. These bonds of companionship and mentorship fortified her resolve, enabling her to weather the storms of doubt and adversity.

For over five decades, St. Marie Eugenie led the Assumption with unwavering dedication, her life a symphony of love and sacrifice. Her tireless efforts were fueled by a profound commitment to her sisters, whom she cherished as her own family. Amidst the challenges of illness and uncertainty, she traversed the length and breadth of the land, a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who crossed her path.

As the sun set on her earthly journey, St. Marie Eugenie's legacy endured, her spirit undimmed by the passage of time. In her final moments, surrounded by her beloved sisters, she uttered words of profound wisdom: "I am looking at my Lord. It is in looking at Him that we learn how to love." With her canonization by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, her sanctity was affirmed for generations to come, a testament to the enduring power of faith and love.

In the annals of history, St. Marie Eugenie stands as a testament to the transformative power of faith and love. Her life, marked by sacrifice and devotion, continues to inspire countless souls to strive for the greater glory of God. As we reflect on her journey, may we be reminded of the boundless potential within each of us to answer the divine call and build the kingdom of God on earth.

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