The interview: Sr. Françoise Grangier, a bright look at aging

on 31 Aug, 2016
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París (Francia), 08/30/2016, RCF.- We would like to share with joy Sr. François de Sales interview which was carried out in early July in their community, by Béatrice Soltner, and broadcasted in these current days by Radio RCF (CHRISTIAN RADIO FRANCOPHONE, a network of 63 local radios). “The rest of my time, my prayer, my way of thinking, is thanksgiving”. At the age of 96, Sr. Françoise Grangier has a bright look at aging.

Sr. François de SalesSr. François de SalesSr. Françoise Grangier lives her old age day to day, as a moment, but throughout the day she does not repeat to herself that she is 96 years old. For 14 years she has been fighting against blood cancer. While she is recovering little by little “from strength and energy”, she opens the door to Beatrice Soltner. The religious is part of the DominicanSisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and now lives in the heart of Paris, with other advanced aged Sisters. In her room, there are books especially, those by Maurice Zundel, in particular, her “spiritual master” who helped her discover “The Poverty of God”. 

“My remaining time, my prayer, my way of thinking, is thanksgiving. A day in which one never ceases to give thanks: thank you to the person who brings me breakfast, to the one who comes to see me... This is my life”.

Of Franco-Swiss nationality, Sr. Françoise comes from an old Swiss family from the Gruyere region, “a large fertile valley”. She was very young when, in the space of a few months, she lost her mother and later her father. “When we lose our parents, we say there is something else after”. A tragedy “which makes you enter adulthood immediately”, as she says, and that has made her very sensitive to the spiritual dimension of existence.

Sr. Françoise experiences the time of old age as a “precious time not because it is going to end soon but because it is a stage in life when things extend-lengthen”. In the morning, she deprived herself of turning on the TV or the computer, she dedicates the early hours of the day to silence. Four times a week, she has an arrangement with her physiotherapist, after she checks her emails and surfs the Internet. “In the afternoon, I have a weakness for 'Les chiffres et les lettres' broadcast, which still makes me work a bit”.

Sr. Françoise lives her life as Maurice Zundel calls “a starry minute” - “This little light which tells you that you are in the right direction and which frees you”. This woman who has experienced the Second World War and who keeps up with the latest news, often negative news, cultivates the pursuit of peace according to her possibilities, “it consists of never speaking badly about others”.

The interview... To listen