WITNESSES: Sr. Beatriz Álvarez

on 14 Nov, 2020
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La Turena, Bucaramanga (Colombia), Sr. Beatriz Alvarez Gómez.- My participation in the Beatification of Marie Poussepin. Since the last months of 1993, the Commission was created to prepare this solemnity, as it is necessary to think about many details. Fortunately, I was part of it. Decisions on the souvenirs to be given, on the trips of the Sisters from all the Provinces, on the models of images to be given to the Vatican for the Gobelins for the Basilica in the interior and another on the façade of St. Peter's. And to think about everything concerning the arrival in Rome and accommodation, programs and the departure of all to Tours, Dourdan, Sainville, Janville, Chartres.

In my office as counselor and secretary of the Mother House were the mettings, because it was necessary to reflect on all the details, and then decide. We began to work on this Commission from the days when in Rome it was decided by the Holy Father the date to celebrate the Beatification.

When 1994 arrived, we had the joy of knowing the date chosen for the solemn Beatification of Marie Poussepin, so long awaited: it was set for November 20 of this year 94, the Sunday of the feast of Christ the King. The Dominican Order will have that same day three new Blesseds: Father Hyacinth Cormier, who was Master General of the Order, our Mother Marie Poussepin and Mère Agnès Langeac, who was a cloistered Dominican nun but founded another apostolic community, in Puy, France. For this reason the program has been all planned with the Friars and there will be a good part of it in Santa Sabina.

I listened very well to Monsignor Jean Honoré, our Archbishop of Tours, who asked the Holy Father to declare Marie Poussepin Blessed. The Bishop of Chartres would have had this honor, but he declined in favor of that of Tours, which is the seat of the Congregation.

The image of Mère Poussepin was covered with a soft cloth and was only made visible at the moment when the Holy Father John Paul II pronounced the formula, in response to the request made by the Archbishop of Tours, Mgr Jean Honoré:

I declare that Marie Poussepin enjoys the vision of
God in Heaven, and the Church can venerate her
like Blessed where her Congregation is.

Her image is quickly discovered and the applause resounds throughout the Basilica. I cannot describe the joy felt at that moment. It is the same as the super natural gifts, something ineffable that cannot be translated into words.

Blessed Marie Poussepin, Social Apostle of Charity
As the readings were distributed among the Religious Families of the 5 Blessed, we were fortunate that the first reading of the Eucharist was done by Sr. Ines Serrano. In the two following angles were the images of the three members of the Dominican Family who were beatified on the same day. On our right, that of our Mother Marie Poussepin and on the left, united, that of Father Hyacinth Cormier and Mother Agnès de Langeac.

The date of death is always chosen as the liturgical feast day, but since our Mother's feast day is January 24, it coincides with the feast of St. Francis de Sales, a great Saint in the liturgy of France, the Congregation of the Causes, together with Father Venchi, chose October 14, the day of her birth and baptism.

On November 21, the celebration of the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square for the Order and the two Congregations and for the representatives of the other two Blesseds of that day, from different Congregations. On the 22nd we, in the Church of St. Louis of the French, to celebrate the Eucharist and the renewal of our holy vows, as we would have done on the 21st. We attended about 300 Sisters.

The civil authorities of these places were present. In all of them there was a solemn Eucharist and solemn and expressive acts of the inhabitants with the Sisters. I was able to be present and collaborate in the organization of these celebrations.

I participated in all the places of celebration in France and in Dourdan I was asked at the last minute to give a conference in Spanish, on the history of the foundation and the Charity of Marie Poussepin, since there were many Sisters who did not know French. I also guided their visit in Dourdan and in Sainville.

When we arrived in Sainville, as we entered the main street, a large group of young girls dressed in white and holding ears of wheat in their hands greeted us. Walking among them, we walked to the corner near the house that Marie-Poussepin rented on her arrival in Sainville to begin her mission.

In this corner, which is very wide, the mayor had built a square called "Place Marie Poussepin". In the center of the square, a very well arranged space, where they made a small monument like a sanctuary, with an open book. The book, in which the Blessed Mother learned to read, is a great symbolism. That is why the girls have symbolized the "little schools" and disinterestedly: the book of the Word of God that she knew how to teach in her catechesis and in her classes. There, the girls gave each sister a sprig of wheat. There was a speech by the mayor and others.

The whole city was prepared for these events, and since our house did not have the capacity to accommodate so many sisters, some of the people of Sainville took the sisters into their family homes. Of course, there was the Eucharist, a great visit to the house, the garden, the pharmacy, her room, a special prayer in the chapel and a visit to the crypt where she was buried.