It is with great joy that we the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary celebrate Saint Marie Rivier’s birthday today. Born in Montpezat, France 254 years ago on December 19, 1768, Marie was baptized on December 21st. She died in Bourg St. Andeol on February 3, 1768.
At an early age she had fallen and broken her hip. She was then cured after praying many hours in front of the statue of the Pieta. She would plead:
‘Blessed Virgin, heal me I will gather little ones and teach them and tell them to love you very much’.
Her great desire and main focus was to teach and educate young children and thus ‘make Jesus Christ known and loved everywhere!’ She opened many schools, even during the French Revolution. On November 21st, 1796 she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary and was the first General Superior. She wanted the sisters to teach the children, especially the orphans. Later on, the teaching was extended to all the youth. Now the sisters are present in 19 countries.
She was declared Venerable in 1890 by Leo Xlll, and then named ‘Woman Apostle and Servant of God’ by Pope Pius lX. Pope John Paul ll beatified Marie Rivier on May 23, 1982 calling her a prophet for our time and declared Marie Rivier Blessed. Pope Francis canonized Marie Rivier on May 15, 2022 and recognizing her as Saint Marie Rivier.
During this Christmas season as we meditate on the Virgin Mary, waiting for the birth of Jesus, let us put all our trust in God and in Mary. Saint Marie Rivier had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary, she would say: ‘I have obtained everything by reciting the rosary’. We also know that Jesus Christ was always at the heart of Marie Rivier, like she is now in our hearts. His love impels us to move forward in the footsteps of Saint Marie Rivier.
Let us thank God for bringing Marie Rivier into this world. ‘We, the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, with our Associates, ask Saint Marie Rivier to accompany us in all our endeavors.’
MARANATHA! ‘Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel!’