As we prepare to celebrate this summer the 225th anniversary of the foundation of our congregation, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, we appreciate and give thanks to our foundress Marie Rivier for her charism and spirituality.
On May 23rd 1982, she was beatified in Rome and called Blessed Marie Rivier.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to her:
– for being a courageous person, a woman of prayer. As a young child she sat near the Pieta for hours begging the Virgin Mary to cure her. She had a filial devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary; her rosary beads were close at hand. She had a great trust in her intercession and many miracles happened. She obtained everything from God. “I did everything by means of the rosary,” she once said.
– for her boundless zeal! She founded the community in 1796 during the French Revolution. She had the courage to open convents while other communities were being closed. Her focus was on Education of the young, the poor and the orphans. She taught the basics of faith to the poor and preached the Word of God. She did the work of evangelization, gave exhortations, retreats, prayers sessions, and cared of the sick during these times of persecution.
– for being herself, woman of faith with a passionate love of Jesus Christ. To know and love Jesus Christ was like a fire in her heart. She wanted this fire to be spread and to be carried to the ends of the earth. She traveled far, opening 141 schools in her life time and she prophesied that one day my daughters will cross the seas. She was called the ‘Woman apostle’ by Pope Pius XI.
– for immersing herself in the mysteries life of Christ and becoming a living Gospel where others could encounter the love of Jesus. Marie Rivier encouraged her Sisters to develop the interior life of prayer and to make of their lives a continual offering to God. She would call this “the work of the heart”. Before her death in 1838, she told her Sisters: “I leave to you the heritage of prayer.”
FOR THE CAUSE OF BLESSED MARIE RIVIER’S CANONIZATION
God, our Father,
you fashioned in Marie Rivier
a heart impassioned for Your glory
and for the salvation of the world.
We bless You .
Place in us
her ardent love for Jesus Christ,
her faith in the power of prayer,
her apostolic boldness,
her compassion for all suffering.
Through the intercession of Mary,
our Mother and Guardian,
grant us the favor
of her canonization.
We beseech You.