Friday, November 20, 2009

The Canonization of St Jeanne Jugan and Charles Dickens

During our years on Long Island, my oldest daughter Gabbi and I paid a memorable visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor in their nursing home in New York. and learned of Blessed Jeanne Jugan, their foundress's cause. At the Eucharistic Congress last September, I heard the good news that she was soon to be lifted to the altar as St Jeanne Jugan.

George Weigel writes about an interesting meeting between Jeanne and Charles Dickens.
"Yet the novelist Charles Dickens could write, after meeting Jeanne Jugan, that "there is in this woman something so calm, and so holy, that in seeing her I know myself to be in the presence of a superior being. Her words went straight to my heart, so that my eyes, I know not how, filled with tears." I always knew Dickens had a heart from the poor, you can tell by his works, especially "A Christmas Carol".

Weigel also derives a valuable lesson from her holy example. "The Little Sisters of the Poor and their patients are living reminders that there are no disposable human beings; that everyone is a someone for whom the Son of God entered the world, suffered, and died; and that we read others out of the human family at our moral and political peril."
Weigel is right, the  nursing home operated by the Sisters in New York City is a haven of peace and love. I didn't want to leave. How often is that said about a nursing home?
Now, there is a lesson from the saint which can be applied to public policy lately. . . .anyone say "death panels"?
Read the entire article at the Ethics and Public Policy Center website.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: