This Wednesday the Church will remember St. Jeanne Jugan, a holy woman known for caring for the poor, especially the elderly. The congrega- tion of the “Little Sisters of the Poor,” of which she was the foundress, takes a fourth vow of “Hospitality to the elderly” in which they promise to de- vote themselves entirely to the service of the elderly poor. It all started when she took into her own home a poor woman who had nowhere else to go. She brought the woman home and offered her own bed.
In the CnMI, we value our youth, and invest in them because we see in them the future of our people. But in our Man’Amko we hold a treasure of wisdom and knowledge which we cannot fail to honor. In particular, we cannot neglect our Man’Amko who are needy, because they are worthy of special attention. In serving them there is a tremendous source of grace for all of us.
Some sayings of Jeanne Jugan:
“It is a great grace that God has given you in calling you to serve the poor.”
“My little ones, we should always be cheerful, for our old people do not like long faces.”
“Making the elderly happy – that is what counts!”
“Love God very much, so that you can look after the aged well,for it is Jesus whom you care for in them.”
Once after meeting Jeanne Jugan, Charles Dickens said, “there is in this woman something so calm, and so holy, that in seeing her I know myself to be in the presence of a superior being. Her words went straight to my heart, so that my eyes, I know not how, filled with tears.”
At her beatification Pope John Paul II said that “God could glorify no more humble a servant than she.”
Pope Benedict said that Saint Jeanne’s canonization would “show once again how living faith is prodigious in good works, and how sanctity is a healing balm for the wounds of humankind.”