A special Vigil service was held in our Home on August 29th, the eve of the Feast Day of Saint Jeanne Jugan. This gathering joined together Little Sisters, Residents, members of the Association Jeanne Jugan, volunteers and staff, all united in prayer and with gratitude for the life and example of Saint Jeanne Jugan and giving thanks for our benefactors and all friends of the Home.
During the Vigil service, a single flame was kept burning, as we reflected upon the charism of St. Jeanne Jugan….
“As we gather here in this chapel, on the eve of the feast day of Saint Jeanne Jugan, our presence celebrates Jeanne Jugan’s first gesture of loving hospitality and more: we celebrate the mystery of God’s incarnate Love, so alive in Jeanne’s heart, alive in our hearts and here before us in the Blessed Sacrament.
The flame that has been burning since the winter of 1839 must not be extinguished in our hands. We must keep it burning brightly and have it at heart to transmit it to the next generation in all its radiance.
… On a cold winter’s day in 1839, Saint Jeanne Jugan, at 47 years of age, welcomed an elderly, destitute, blind woman into her home. Jeanne gave Anne Chauvin not only her bed, but a “home”: a place where meals were shared in communion, joys are multiplied and sorrows are divided; a place where the love of a human heart moves freely from one to another. Never again would Anne Chauvin live in destitution, and never again would Jeanne’s life be the same either; from that day forward she would spend herself completely in the service of God’s aged poor.
With that single gesture of love, the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor was born, and for more than 170 years elderly men and women have been welcomed into more than 200 homes throughout the world.
That single act of love, exercised by Saint Jeanne Jugan so many years ago has reverberated through time and across the ocean; the many daughters of Saint Jeanne Jugan who have been called by God to continue this great work, have carried in their hearts the charism of their Foundress like a precious treasure, from Brittany in France to this little corner of Totowa, NJ.”
Let us pray to Saint Jeanne Jugan who shows us how far we must be willing to go if God so wishes to ask us. Through the intercession of Saint Jeanne Jugan, let us ask Jesus to take away
our blindness which hinders us from seeing him in others; any paralyzing effects that hinder us from loving him in others; any coldness in our hearts that has not warmed up to his grace.