Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) The French Episcopal Conference declared in 2012, the Jubilee Year in honor of the servant of God, the venerable Pauline, who died 150 years ago in Lyon, on January 9, 1862.
2012 was also the 190th anniversary of the Founding of the Association for the Propagation of the Faith and the 90th anniversary of its erection to Pontifical Society.
With this Jubilee, the French Episcopal Conference intended to rediscover the figure of this woman, in reality not well-known, but who with her faith, creativity and holiness set in motion the Missionary Cooperation of modern times.
She was born in Lyon, France in 1799, in a period of rapid political and cultural upheaval, she was a passionate of foreign missions and at the same time a worker of justice in a society where the rights of workers and especially of women were violated.
In 1822 She founded the Association for the Propagation of the Faith with the characteristic of Universality. She realized that the problem of missionary cooperation was not to help this or that mission, but all, without distinction. "Let's do something universal, Catholic." "All the faithful for all the infidels." Thanks to her that great movement of missionary cooperation started, which was to gradually involve the whole Church, all Catholics, and all its institutions, its ministries. From her missionary passion and insight other Pontifical Societies-Holy Childhood-- St. Peter the Apostle - Missionary Union were established. Her motto "All the faithful for all the infidels" became "the whole Church for all the world," Blessed Fr. Manna’s motto, founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union.
To the passion for spreading the Kingdom of God among non-Christians, she added passion for social justice. To relieve the working men and women of the then industrial world from poverty she began various initiatives of social awareness and founded the Bank of Heaven.
This apostolic creativity was the result of her intense spiritual life. She was firmly convinced that missionary work did not derive its effectiveness from work and human resources, but only from God, because the mission was His. In 1826 she founded the Living Rosary. But it was her life that became the most tangible testimony of her passion for the proclamation of the Gospel to the Peoples. Donation of herself, and what she had as family property, radical poverty, a continuous contemplation of the face of Christ, accompanied her apostolic adventure. In the end, as for every disciple of Christ, she had to carry her Cross, she had to endure a tremendous amount of insults for bankruptcy that she had to declare in 1862 and live the rest of her life in absolute poverty.
The rediscovery of this figure rises bright in the world of lay Christians, and especially in the missionary world. She loved to be called the "poor of Jesus Christ" and then "poor Mary" she wished to identify herself as "daughter in the Son" for the salvation of the whole world.
With her life and her work, She has been a source of missionary ecclesiological reflection, which resulted in the Second Vatican Council, with the statement: The Church is missionary by nature, and that evangelization is the right and duty of every lay faithful. For this she was declared Venerable by Blessed John XXIII on February 25, 1963 (Agenzia Fides 09/01/2013)