Lyon (Agenzia Fides) - January 9, 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth to heaven of the Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot (1799-1862), foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. For this occasion on Monday, January 9, 2012 in Lyon (France), where she was born and is buried, a commemoration day will be celebrated in the presence of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, Primate of the Gauls, President of the French association of the Pontifical Mission Societies. According to information sent to Fides by Fr. Pierre-Yves Pecqueux, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in France, the program concerning the commemoration day includes a conference at 9.30 am followed by a round table. At 2.30 pm a visit to Pauline Jaricot’s house and to the Basilica of Our Lady of Fourviere; at 4.30 pm the Vespers and at 6.30 pm Mass in St. Nizier, where the mortal remains lie.
Pauline Marie Jaricot was born on July 22, 1799 and came from a well-to-do family from Lyon. She spent a wealthy and worldly childhood and adolescence. When she had just turned seventeen, after a serious illness and death of her mother, shaken by the preaching of her pastor, she began a life of intense prayer. At 19 she gathers the girls working in factories and established a Union of Prayer among pious servant girls, the members of which were known as the ‘Reparatrices’. Following her brother, who then became a priest, and was a member of the Association of the young and adults of the Society for Foreign Missions in Paris, whose members committed themselves to praying and collecting offerings to help the missions in the Far East, even Pauline and the Reparatrices dedicated themselves to the missionary cause. Groups of 10 persons were formed and each group had the task of acting as a promoter by finding ten other associates willing to pray and contribute "a penny" every week for the missions. The project extends itself rapidly: On October 20, 1820 there are already more than 500 members who are part of what will be called the Association for the Propagation of the Faith, whose official foundation takes place on May 3, 1822. In the years following the Society expands in France, in Europe and the world, maintaining a close relation with the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. In 1826 Pauline Jaricot promotes the Living Rosary: a group of fifteen associates each of whom had to recite daily only one determined decade for the conversion of sinners and to mediatate on the mystery chosen. This initiative soon spread throughout the world. The last ten years of her life are marked by hardship and adversity of all kinds. She died on January 9, 1862. On May 3, 1922 Pope Pius XI declares the Society for the Propagation of the Faith "Pontifical". Pope John XXIII recognizes the heroic virtues of Pauline Jaricot on February 25, 1963. For more information about Memorial Day: firstname.lastname@example.org. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/10/2011)