“You shall be my witness”: Catholic Mission celebrates the beatification of Pauline Jaricot

02 Jun 2022

By Contributor

Pauline Jaricot
A portrait of Pauline Jaricot. Photo: Supplied.

On Sunday, 22 May, Pauline Marie Jaricot was raised to the order of Blessed in the French city of Lyon where she was born a wealthy heiress and died poor, having embraced not material but spiritual wealth in the love of God.

The beatification took place in the Eurexpo Exhibition Hall with almost 12,000 people, including over 500 priests, gathering to celebrate Pauline, an extraordinary woman who devoted her life to the work of mission as one of the founders of the organisation today known as Catholic Mission.

The beatification was presided over by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, at the direction of Pope Francis. 

Founder of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, one of the works of Catholic Mission, Pauline was a person of great faith, bold courage and generous creativity. She inspired this great work of global mission.

“Pauline dedicated her life to the mission, to the service of the poor and to prayer,” wrote Pope Francis in the letter read during the beatification.

The wondrous cure of Mayline Tran, a young French girl, was the first miracle that paved the way for recognition of Pauline as Blessed.

At the age of three, Mayline severely choked on food which resulted in her body being deprived of oxygen. She suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma. Once students from the Catholic school Mayline attended heard of her dire situation, they organised a prayer novena asking Pauline’s intercession for her healing. 

Mayline’s recovery was medically inexplicable. She did not suffer any disability or side effects and made a full recovery. It was deemed a medical miracle by a panel of experts. This event led the family to embrace the love of God and return to their faith.

Fr Brian Lucas, Catholic Mission National Director who attended the beatification and met Mayline and her family said, “It was particularly inspiring to hear her father explain how the experience of the miracle led him to be baptised and how much the faith and love of those close to his family had grown”. 

In an expression of her faith and gratefulness, the procession was led by Mayline who presented Pauline’s wooden cross and the relic of her heart onto the altar.

The beatification of Pauline Jaricot marks a key milestone in her journey to becoming a saint. Another miracle needs to be recognised by the Church as another significant step in the process of her cause for canonisation.  

It has also been an occasion to focus on the immense work of mission that Pauline inspired over the last 200 years that has witnessed God’s mission of love for humanity and Creation.