BLESSED ARE YOU POOR PEOPLE!
Theme of the year 2019 in Lourdes
150th anniversary of the M.Afr.
Georges Paquet, M.Afr.
“Blessed are you poor people! “I prefer another translation: “How lucky for you poor people…” But what poor people? I have met many “poor” people in Tanzania and for 20 years now in France among migrants – I have seen that some can be harsh, aggressive, violent, even towards the other poor! But who are ” the poor who alone possess the Kingdom of Heaven ” (Madeleine Delbrel). Certainly not those who claim to be “in a valley of tears and in exile on earth”, as it is still sung in Latin… Yes, how lucky for you Bernadette Soubirou when you say of your parents: “as long as they do not get stuck.” You’d rather see your parents struggle to get by than see them in the hands of the city’s bourgeoisie – who tried to trap you with nice clothes. You understood that the essential thing was what you lived with your loved ones, loving relationship, prayer in the family and later in a religious community. “I praise you, Father, for hiding this from the wise and understanding, and for revealing it to the little ones. “(Lk 10:21)
And this voice that called you “you” allowed you to remain yourself in front of the world of false great ones like Zola and others… You have nothing to give but a message, heard in the depths of your heart: “I am not here to make you believe it, but just to tell you”. “This is what I witnessed in Africa:” Everyone has the right to hear Jesus’ message and then to do with it what he wants. ” (Kila mtu ana haki ya kusikia maneno ya Yesu, na baadaye ya kufanya kama anavyotaka.)
I, who was not born into poverty, how am I challenged when I say: ” How lucky are you poor people? I want to be with you to fight against poverty, destitution and I will be able to do so if I can do it with as much passion and love as Bernadette…. 140 years after her death, see what technique and a lot of love can achieve: look at this excerpt from this summer’s show in Lourdes with Eyma… who is 16 years old.
The Kingdom is living the present moment, being a creator with the Creator. We are not happy in the world of selfishness, of hatred. “The other world” is where there is love.
It is up to everyone to listen to the Voice, which is right next to you.
A bit of history:
- 1830: the miraculous medal “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. »
- 7.01.1844 : birth of Bernadette Soubirou
- 1854: the dogma of the immaculate conception
“No doubt the expression Immaculate Conception struck her ears, in church, on the feast of December 8. But in these sermons delivered in French (a foreign language)… it is an unknown notion for her…” (p. 123). “Bernadette had a rosary of 2 cents bought in 1856 in Betharram, she knew how to pray it in French; she also knew this invocation that was said at the evening prayer: “O Mary conceived without sin…” (p.48).
- The apparitions from 11.02 to 16.07.1858 – “I saw something white, Aquéro (that or this one, depending on the accent) has the shape of a small maiden ( damiséle)” (p.78).
- “On June 3, 1859, she made her first communion. In July, a young lawyer, Charles Madon, talks with Bernadette: “and your secrets, what is it about? – They concern only me – and if the Pope asked you, would you tell him? – No…” (p.140) What if his secret was the way Aquéro understood the meaning of “immaculada councepciou”?
- “Great difficulty for his canonization! In the summer of 1861, on the first floor of the sisters’ hospice, she ordered a little girl, a certain Julie: “I throw my hoof out the window. You go get it and bring strawberries. ” (from the garden below) (p.159) “I can’t meditate… but she started in the long run. » (p.161) “ 4.04.1864: Bernadette says she wants to be a religious
- 7.07.1866: she is in Nevers
- 16.04.1879: Bernadette dies
Quotations in “Vie de Bernadette” by René Laurentin, Desclée de Brouwer (1978)
- Charles Lavigerie was born in Bayonne on 30.10.1825, in the same century. He was Archbishop of Algiers in 1867 and Cardinal in 1882.
- On 1.07.1888, in Paris, he launched his anti-slavery campaign. The wording of “Temps” wrote: “The cardinal destroyed almost entirely the overly brief notions we had about the state of the slave trade.”
- On 19.10.1868, he opened the first novitiate and on 8 December, he named the “Immaculate Conception” patron saint of his new Society of Missionaries of Africa, known as the White Fathers. In 1869, they were the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (mafrome.org : Want to be holy?)
- In 1878, it was the first caravan for East Africa, which would become Tanzania. I would be there in 1971, a hundred years after the explorer Stanley (not St Stanley, another American martyr).
- In Chavanay, in 1878, my family erected a statue of Mary, with these words on the base: “Holy Mary of the star, I am the bright gold, the brightness of noon, the last ray of the evening. Hail Mary 1878. »