FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
DAY 2 – Service of the poor, 11th of September
Even before St. Emilie founded the Congregation, a profound love of God and of the poor was her driving force ever since she was only a child, following the good example of several members of her family, particularly her grandmother.
“I loved the poor and experienced real pleasure in giving them alms. A pious lady, called Marianne Gombert, a dressmaker who knew my soft spot for the poor, used to take me with her somtimes to visit them. I used to give them the money I had.
One day, we had only three francs. We visited 20 poor sick people. We gave each one no less than 3 “sous”. We gave 5 or even 6 “sous” to some. When we had finished, my purse which had only 3 francs was not yet empty. Marianne exclaimed at the realisation of this multiplication of money, that it was: “Providence”!
Throughout her life, Emilie remained faithful to her first intuition: the poor are to be her priority and her love for them is to be seen as the measure of her love for God.
God considers that whatever we do for the poor, of whom he likes to call himself the Father, we do for him, and the great reward which he has planned for his faithful servants seems to be inextricably linked to the service they have given to those who are poor and suffering.”
Let us do all in our power so that we may deserve to hear these words:
“Come you blessed of my Father, for
I was hungry and you gave me to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me to drink,
I was homeless and you put me up,
I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to see me.”
Think of these wonderful words often and charity will abound in your hearts.
Prayer to St. Emilie
St. Emilie, you who said, “Providence and the poor, these were my riches.” Be with us in our Day! Intercede for us, so that we may recognize Jesus, and love and serve Him in the poorest of the poor. May we, like you, put our whole trust in Christ who is our ALL! Amen.
St. Emilie de Rodat, pray for us.
To conclude the Novena, please recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory be.