Remembering the beatification: It's not enough to be, you have to appear

on 17 Jun, 2020
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Medellín (Colombia), 06/17/2020, Sr. Nora Inés Fonnegra Gómez.- I do not suggest, with such a title that one must appear; of course, no, that will be equivalent to really showing the way one underlines one’s appearance in the assumed nature. If, on considering the legacy of Marie Poussepin, one believes that there are appearances, one is mistaken.


It is a pity to put Marie Poussepin in her greatness as the title, and then the one about " the humble, pious and faithful servant " to be followed. Her greatness is precisely in her smallness or ignorance of herself. Her humility is so real that her legacy deserves to be praised, celebrated and acknowledged. Her Charism has been extolled because of its wonderful accomplishments.

In the Provinces of Latin America and the Caribbean the event of the beatification was celebrated as a re-encounter with Sainville, which was a source of solidarity and communion between France and Colombia, from where a great expansion has taken place in Latin America. There, the heritage of our foundress has been extended, known and appreciated in various countries and among different groups of people belonging to the various sections of the society: the upper class, middle class or the deprived, through our institutions of healthcare or education, established even in the slums and the peripheries, much spoken of today.

To be precise, in Medellín we lived the event as a grace that instilled enthusiasm to continue. We also experienced it as a journal with emphasis on signs, texts, forums, artistic and cultural display: plays, pamphlets, comic books, music, songs, and even a stamp issued by the state government. Finally, everything that we celebrate is also an offering, an acknowledgement ad intra and ad extra. The meetings with the Church members, people and government leaders, are something like landmarks, as many of them, during their childhood had received from the sisters that touch of finesse, style and character with which their lives have been stamped forever.

In no way, we, the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation have been anonymous "specimens"; on the contrary, we have been outstanding because of our witness and our closeness to the people through so many humanitarian and cultural projects for development, which have been a turning point in their history, both in terms of progress and in the ups and downs when they are struck by misfortune.

Many municipalities of the department that are examples of good citizenship say aloud that they are like that because there was a certain religious community that... and I say no more! So many compliments, so much affection! Those are the footprints of a legacy!

There are so many former students who keep among their precious clothes the picture of Marie Poussepin, and there are even some who by the ways of fate turned out to be the opponents of the Church, novelists, critics etc. and they have never meddled with us through their mockeries and displeasure.

Of course, this appreciation may sound like vanity, but it is not a mutilation of glory, but a recognition of the truth; nothing that is related to the work of the Province is false. So, why not make explicit the development of that work that leaves sentiments of gratitude in the hearts? No personal pride, of course, but even sociology suggests that a people needs to remember its greatness in order to grow. We did not come into the world for the sake of either a show or a trifle. Even on the cross there is exaltation, and Jesus went up to it and was glorified for our salvation. He is the hero of the most outstanding deed, and we magnify our foundress and her heritage because her work has been relevant for Colombia and we and this people witness to it.

Whether those who decide on the sanctity of persons, canonize her or not, is none of our business! She is in glory, bathed in the radiance of God, who knows well the reasons for her earthly grandeur, which her daughters have been so eagerly proclaiming through their witnessing. Of course, this is said very quickly, but we are eagerly awaiting the ecclesiastical decree that will publicly declare her as a saint to be venerated among other saints. To be truly great, one must be with the people and not above them.