“Be an open Gospel where all may read Jesus Christ.” – St Marie Rivier –
Today is a day of great joy for all the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, their Associates, lay consecrated members, pupils and all their friends as Marie Rivier, the foundress of the Congregation is canonised by Pope Francis at a Mass at St Peter’s Rome. Marie Rivier was born in France on December 19, 1768A. As a result of a fall when she was a toddler she was unable to walk, but was miraculously healed later on in her childhood through prayers of intercession to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her main life’s work was teaching – the greatest importance being placed on teaching the young people in her charge about Jesus Christ. She also catechised adults, particularly women, as they were the ones who, at that time, were responsible for teaching their children in the family home.
Marie Rivier reached out with great love to all those who were destitute, especially orphans. She founded a Congregation of Sisters; they shared her love of Jesus Christ and worked alongside her. By the end of her life Marie Rivier had founded 141 schools and there were more than 300 Sisters in the Congregation. Today there are many Sisters, Associates, Consecrated Laity, Teachers, Pupils and Friends throughout the world in 20 different countries aspiring to live the spirit she has left them. Saint Marie Rivier give us your spirit: your spirit of self-offering, of trust, and of love of the cross, your spirit of compassion and prayer; your spirit of fervour in the service of the Gospel, your spirit of love and humble service in our homes. Help us to be true prophets in today’s world. St Marie Rivier, pray for us.
An article originally published in the newsletter ‘Catholic Exeter’ of Parishes of Sacred Heart and Blessed Sacrament 15 May 2022 in Exeter County Devon, England.