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Pauline-Marie Jaricot

Founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (1799-1862)

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Jaricot, PAULINE-MARIE, foundress of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary, b. at Lyons, July 22, 1799; d. there, January 9, 1862. At the age of seventeen she began to lead a life of unusual abnegation and self-sacrifice, and on Christmas Day, 1816, took a vow of perpetual virginity. In order to repair the sins of neglect and ingratitude committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she established a union of prayer among pious servant girls, the members of which were known as the “Reparatrices du Sacre-Coeur de Jesus-Christ”. During an extended visit to her married sister at Saint-Vallier (Drome), she succeeded in effecting a complete transformation in the licentious lives of the numerous girls employed by her brother-in-law. It was among them and the “Reparatrices” that she first solicited offerings for the foreign missions. Her systematic organization of such collections dates back to 1819, when she asked each of her intimate friends to act as a promoter by finding ten associates willing to contribute one cent a week to the propagation of the Faith. One out of every ten promoters gathered the collections of their fellow-promoters; and, through a logical extension of this system, all the offerings were ultimately remitted to one central treasurer. The Society for the Propagation of the Faith at its official foundation (May 3, 1822) adopted this method, and easily triumphed over the opposition which had sought from the very start to thwart the realization of Pauline Jaricot’s plans. In 1826 she founded the Association of the Living Rosary. The fifteen decades of the Rosary were divided among fifteen associates, each of whom had to recite daily only one determined decade. A second object of the new foundation was the spread of good books and articles of piety. An undertaking of Pauline’s in the interest of social reform, though begun with prudence, involved her in considerable financial difficulties and ended in failure. The cause of her beatification and canonization has been introduced at Rome.

N. A. WEBER


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