On this day we celebrate the feast of "Jeanne Jugan, a Saint for old age and every age. . . . Jeanne Jugan is the foundress and first Little Sister of the Poor. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009. . . . Jeanne Jugan gave herself entirely to God and the elderly poor. As our aging population continues to grow and dignity at the end of life is increasingly threatened, Jeanne Jugan offers herself as a friend and patron of the elderly. She is a Saint for old age."
-- "Who is Jeanne Jugan?" Little Sisters of the Poor Web Site.
"Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2009. Saint Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, was not recognized as such until after her death. Jeanne lived through repeated betrayals and transformed these trials into a path toward holiness that helped her connect with the suffering of Christ. . . . 'There is in [Jeanne Jugan] something so calm, and so holy, that in seeing her I know myself to be in the presence of a superior being. Her words went straight to my heart, so that my eyes, I know not how, filled with tears.' - Charles Dickens, Victorian author and contemporary of Jeanne Jugan."
--from a description at Amazon of Song of Silence: The Journey of Saint Jeanne Jugan, by Eloi Leclerc, 2009, available for Kindle for $1.00. The book may be sampled at Google Books.
Click here for "Exiled in life, Jeanne Jugan soon to gain full recognition," a 2009 article by Thomas C. Fox, explaining why the "Foundress of Little Sisters of the Poor died unrecognized, even within her order."
For information about joining the Association Jeanne Jugan, lay collaborators with the Little Sisters of the Poor, click here.
Click here for "Our Begging Tradition," with a 1945 picture of Sr. Benedict with her basket.
A very happy feast day to all Little Sisters of the Poor and to all who have benefitted from their imcomparable service!