Saint Philomena and Pauline Jaricot
Pauline, the girl with the bright eyes and the world in her heart, who teaches us a way to love without end, and to share our Catholic faith to the ends of the earth.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot was born in the wake of the destruction of the French Revolution, with turbulence continuing between Church and State. Religion in France was greatly persecuted, and many souls lost the fervor of the one true Faith. Pauline, seeing all the disaster around her, was inspired by God to help missionaries. Moreover, her zeal for missionaries was also motivated by her older brother, Phileas, who was preparing to be a priest.
Pauline had a vision of two lamps while praying in 1817. One had no oil; the other was overflowing and from its abundance poured oil into the empty lamp. Pauline realized that the drained lamp signified the faith in France whereas the overflowing lamp represented the faith of new Christians in the Missions. The faith of the new Christians in the Missions could revitalize the faith in her homeland! Thus, Pauline knew then her vocation in life was to work for missionaries. Her first recruits were girls working in a silk mill. By 1820, 1,000 people were involved in her attempt to help Catholic missionaries. Their pooled offerings were sent through the Paris Foreign Mission Society for its missions in China. Let us now learn from this saint and apply these lessons from her life in our apostolate as Knights of the Immaculata.
Being Anonymous and Unaware the Fruits Of Our Apostolate
Venerable Pauline was so humble and simple that she was content being unaware of the fruits of her efforts for the overseas missions. She left it all to God and Our Lady to do the job of saving souls. Similarly, the Militia Immaculatae is not our own work. St Kolbe reinforces that it belongs to the Immaculata and it is up to Her when She wants to give graces of conversion and to whom. Bearing in this mind, we must not get discouraged, or worse still, angry, when our targeted souls do not convert as we wish them to be, after our long explanations and efforts in sharing about the Immaculata to them.
Let us first, be sorry for our own pride as Knights, to think that it is we that will convert them by our actions and prayers. On the contrary, it is not we, but She, the Immaculata, who will dispense the necessary graces to the souls She wants to, at Her own time. We are simply instruments leading souls to Her. Therefore, we may not be aware of the effects of grace from the Immaculata in other souls, because it is the Immaculata’s and God’s Wisdom that we remain unaware of the “fruits” of our apostolate and remain humble. Let not pride rear its ugly head, for pride and self-righteousness ruins the very essence of the MI, for the Immaculata is the exact opposite to pride. She is Humility personified. Pride is the work of the devil. Also, if we were to find out that our targeted soul eventually converts, let us not claim credit by saying that it is because of our efforts as Knights, but give thanks to God and the Immaculata for their mercy on that particular soul.
Leading Souls To God And The Immaculata Is A Constant Affair
Like Venerable Pauline, let us remember that our mission as Knights of the Immaculata is not just a weekly or monthly project that we do, just to “help around” save souls. For many of us, we have more time than we think on our hands that we spend on other worldly and useless pursuits, like watching movie after movie or gossiping about fellow parishioners. Why not, like Venerable Pauline, tirelessly work for the salvation of souls? If you feel the urge to speak ill about someone to your neighbor, why not speak about Our Lady of Fatima to him or her? If you feel like spending hours on the computer watching meaningless movies, why not spend time distributing articles, prayer cards, etc. by e-mail or by text, to make Our Lady and Our Lord Jesus Christ known and loved? We are weak and easily distracted and can only work with God’s grace through the Immaculata.
Sharing The One True Catholic Faith Beyond Borders
Drawing from Venerable Pauline’s life, we learn that this saint was never contented with such saving “a few souls here and there”. Rather, she wanted to make Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother Mary known and loved by as many people as possible. Likewise, we must be assiduous in our apostolate as Knights and not fall into lukewarmness or complacency. The battle is never over until the very end when Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. Till then, our enemy, the devil, is working doubly hard to bring more souls to hell to torment them forever. How can we relax or be indifferent when our enemy is working day and night? Surely, let us help the Immaculata to save more souls, for even one soul is very precious to Her and Our Lord Jesus Christ Her Divine Son.
Let us use the Internet as a means of spreading the Immaculata and Our Lord Jesus Christ so as to help instruct and hopefully save more souls. Your little post on your Facebook or social media account could very well inspire a soul somewhere out there to learn more about the Immaculata and save his or her soul!
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us!