Pauline Marie Jaricot, the founder of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, known as Catholic Mission in Australia, was beatified in France on Sunday.
She was beatified in Lyon, the city where she was born a wealthy heiress in 1799 and died poor in 1862, having embraced not material but spiritual wealth in the love of God.
Almost 12,000 people, including more than 500 priests gathered for the beatification ceremony, celebrated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
The timing of the beatification was fitting, as this year marks the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
“Pauline dedicated her life to the mission, to the service of the poor and to prayer,” wrote Pope Francis in a letter read during the ceremony.
The cure of Mayline Tran, a young French girl, was the first miracle that paved the way for the recognition of Pauline as Blessed.
At the age of three, Mayline choked on food, which resulted in her body being deprived of oxygen. Mayline suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma. Once the students from the Catholic school that Mayline attended heard of her dire situation they organised a prayer novena asking for Pauline’s intercession for her healing. She made a full recovery, deemed by a panel of experts to be medically inexplicable.
Catholic Mission national director Fr Brian Lucas attended the beatification ceremony and met Mayline and her family.
“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.”