Tomorrow, we remember the four Daughters of Charity known as the Martyrs of Arras. They were guillotined on June 26, 1794.
Also celebrated on June 26 is the memorial of Blessed Marguerite Rutan, D.C. Although she was martyred on April 9, 1794, her liturgical commemoration is together with the Martyrs of Arras.
I liked this excerpt from a report of the events at Sr. Marguerite Rutan’s beatification Mass, from Fr. John T. Maher, C.M., who was the CM Director of Communications at the time:
Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints traveled from Rome to join Bishop Philippe Breton, head of the diocese of Aries and Dax, along with several bishops from neighboring dioceses and over one hundred-fifty priests to celebrate the Mass for Beatification in Boyau Arena. The enthusiasm of the crowd, comprised of many French and Spanish young people (including many among in the Vincentian Marian Youth movement, i.e., Juventud Mariana Vicenciana), along with the pride of the local community in hosting this event was evident.
On Saturday evening, June 18 , the cathedral of Notre Dame in Dax was filled to capacity as people gathered for a two-hour prayer vigil with compline to reflect on Sr. Marguerite’s life and to pray in gratitude for her faithful witness. Daughters of Charity, laity, Vincentians, and diocesan priests prayed and reflected with scripture, hymns, and silence on the meaning of Sr. Marguerite’s life in today’s world.
A Daughter of Charity present at the events reflected on what the life, death, and beatification of Sr. Marguerite Rutan mean for her today: “Marguerite could not have gone to the guillotine while chanting the Magnificat of Mary had she not lived the daily martyrdom of being hated, defamed, and imprisoned while still serving the poor with resolve and integrity. Her ordinary daily holiness enabled her to persevere in her vocation, even to death. Therefore, Marguerite is our model to stay faithful to the tasks in daily life and not to take the easier, softer way that the world often presents us.”
The New England Province of the Congregation of the Mission presented detailed coverage of the Beatification. For a video about Bl. Marguerite Rutan, go to this link at VinFormation. Also see this previous post from the .famvin archives.