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Justine Bisqueyburu

Justine Bisqueyburu, D.C., (1817-1903), was born in Mauléon, France and lived with her mother's sister. She entered the Daughters of Charity in 1837. Although much of her work was to be in health care, first she taught school in Blangy, France. She then served in Constantinople, Paris, and Algiers. In Algiers she was in charge of a military hospital. In 1867 Sr Justine was sent to Italy to organize medical care for wounded soldiers. In 1868 she was sent to Carcassone, France to administer a hospital. She remained in Carcassone until her death.

During her retreat in preparation for entrance into the Daughters of Charity, on January 28, 1840 Sr Justine was in the chapel at Rue du Bac in Paris. While she was at prayer Our Lady appeared to her, dressed in a long white gown and a light blue mantle; her hair was not covered. She held the Immaculate Heart; at its top were bright flames. Our Lady said nothing. At the end of the retreat Our Lady appeared to Sr Justine again and the vision recurred five times during her novitiate. On each occasion, the vision was identical to the first; on each occasion, Our Lady said nothing.

On September 8, 1840, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sr Justine was in Blangy. While Sr Justine was prayer, Our Lady again appeared to her. Although in other ways her appearance was unchanged from previous visions, this time Our Lady held a green scapular in her left hand: a single piece of green cloth strung on green cords. On it was an image of the Blessed Mother as she had appeared to Sr Justine, holding her Immaculate Heart in her right hand. On the cloth's reverse was "a Heart all ablaze with rays more dazzling than the sun and as transparent as crystal". The heart was pierced by a sword, surmounted by a gold cross and with words in the shape of an oval around the heart: Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Sr Justine heard by an interior voice say that Our Lady wished the scapular to be promoted widely as an instrument in the conversion of souls.

Sr Justine told her superior about the visions and, subsequently, her spiritual director, Jean-Marie Aladel, C.M.. The Green Scapular was approved by Pope Pius IX in 1870.

To the end of her life Sister Justine maintained silence about these visions; she spoke only with her superior and her spiritual director about these.


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Justine Bisqueyburu