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FRENCH FOUNDRESSES

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They came from different places...

MOTHER THERESA OF JESUS

MA MÈRE FOUNDRESS, PRIORESS

Maria Victoria Pagot

August 11, 1882 – October 22, 1958 Born in Noirmoutier, Vendee, France. She entered the Carmel of Lons-le-Sauniers on Nov. 4, 1903 and made her final vows on Aug. 15, 1906. She left France for Hue, Vietnam on Aug. 22, 1911 and for the Philippines on Oct. 22, 1923. God’s holy will: the key of Ma Mère’s profound serenity of soul. She had a tender, filial love for our blessed Mother. As Prioress and Mistress of Novices she led her daughters with firmness and gentleness (a rare virtue) and installed in their young minds a solid asceticism and humility. She was herself the exemplar of the practices she enjoined on her daughters. Never did she utter a word which might reveal her intense interior life. The deep peace which radiated from her countenance was the only outward manifestation of her profound union with God. A remarkable trait is her maternal affection and solicitude for each of her daughters, her sons and Carmel’s friends. She participated in the foundation of Carmels in the northern part of the Philippines. She asked God for 30 years more of life to work for her dear Philippines and God gave her 35.

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MOTHER MARY OF CHRIST

NOTRE MÈRE

FOUNDRESS, SUB-PRIORESS

Jeanne Marguerite Marie Legrand

January 1, 1891 – August 20, 1979

Born in Paris, France. She entered the Carmel of Gravigny on Sept. 1, 1911 and made her profession on April 12, 1913. On Sept. 7, 1923 she left France with Sr. Germaine for the Carmel of Hue and for the Philippines with the group. Her outstanding virtues were: her love for the Gospel and ready obedience to the teachings of the Church, her love for truth and humility with Our Lady as her model, her love for community life, the priests, the poor and the Filipino people, her deep sense of gratitude, her passion for unity and her enjoyable sense of humour. She held the offices of Sub-prioress, Prioress and Novice Mistress. She was elected first President of the Southern Federation of Carmels in the Philippines. She initiated and participated in the founding of Carmels in the southern part of the Philippines. She spent 56 years of her life as a contemplative missionary in the Philippines, a woman with a “cathedral heart.”

SISTER GERMAINE OF CHRIST

FOUNDRESS, FIRST DISCREET

Germaine Deny

July 16, 1890 – April 19, 1937

Born in Paris, France. She entered the Carmel of Bordeaux on April 19, 1917, made her profession on Nov. 14, 1918 and perpetual profession on Nov. 14, 1921. She made the plans of the Monastery and supervised its construction. She was endowed with a rich nature, a will of iron, intelligent and gifted in every way. She loved community life and the following of the Rule in its entirety; she had a happy religious spirit and could adapt to all circumstances. She did fine work – artistic embroidery and painting for the altar and sacred vestments. She had a most tender devotion toward our heavenly Mother and her motto was: To Jesus through Mary. She died like a martyr in the arena attired in the purple of her blood caused by a rupture of an artery in the lungs. She spent all of her 14 years as a Carmelite contemplative missionary in Jaro, Philippines.

MOTHER MARY GABRIEL OF THE CHILD JESUS

FOUNDRESS, NOVICE PROFESSED

Gabrielle Anna Durand March 12, 1899 – January 10, 1988

Born in Paris, France. She entered the Carmel of Lons-le-Saunier on Dec. 24, 1920.She made her first profession on Feb. 2, 1923and her solemn vows on Feb. 2, 1926. She left France for Hue, Vietnam on Aug. 25, 1922and for the Philippines with the group.She left Jaro with Mo. Theresa of Jesus for the foundation of Manila Carmel.She was the moving spirit in the realization of the first Chapter of the Secular Carmelites in Manila.She left Manila for Laoag on October 11, 1949 and remained there the rest of her life occupying the office of Prioress for five terms and as a Councillor most of the time. She had a loving concern for the extern sisters, a lively sense of humour, a keen and quick perception of others’ needs and gave herself entirely to the service of her sisters. It was said of her that each sister in the community was her favourite. She spent 65 years of her life in the Philippines: 3 years in Jaro, 23 years in Manila and more than 38 years in Laoag.

See also: Bishop James Paul McCloskey

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