Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There are a pair of saints sharing the date as their feast day. Both were French priests. Both had "Marie" as their middle name. Both were missionaries and members (in one case, founder) of a missionary congregation. One died a martyr on the other side of the world from his homeland, while the other suffered mightily right at home. With so many coincidences, you might think they were contemporaries at a time when the Church of France was particularly active in missions, but they were separated by over a century--an indication that the Church of France had a long history of vibrant missionary life. There's not much news coming to us from those quarters, but that doesn't mean that all is at a standstill. There are vibrant movements in the Church in France right now: a spread of Eucharistic adoration, various Catholic communities of priests and laity, a quiet ferment of faith. The examples of today's saints, St. Peter Chanel and St. Louis de Montfort, led me to pray in a special way today for the Church of France. Who knows what great souls God's providence is raising up even now in that "eldest daughter of the Church"?!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They aren't exactly missionaries but some French monks are establishing a Cistercian monastery in Norway. Please pray for them. http://www.munkeby.net/