"Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata, who is queen even of God's Heart."
St. Maximillian Kolbe

The life of  Pauline-Marie Jaricot


Her parents were Antoine and Jeanne Jaricot, very devout Catholics. Pauline Marie was born ten years after the French Revolution and was baptised by a faithful priest, who did not take the constitutional oath.

 

During her adolescence, she neglected the Faith and her spiritual life, and preferred a life full of worldly pleasures, but retained a very strong will.

 

During the Lent of 1816 she converted back to the Faith, after hearing a sermon about the dangers and illusions of worldly pleasures. She could remember the sermon in very detail and realized “God loves me so much, I have to pass on His love- and be an apostle!”

 

She then founded a number of charitable institutions, including a workshop for unemployed young girls, where they made artificial flowers, and a missionary movement in 1822 where she collected money for the Seminaire des Missions etrangeres in Paris. Due to the revolution, support for the missions was in decline. She always encouraged missionary zeal with the motto “assault is the best defence!”.

 

During the years 1822-1826, observing workers in her father’s silk factory in Lyon, she realized that few people had the time and zeal to pray the daily rosary.  In 1826 she founded the “Living Rosary”- the exact format that we imitate in our Rosary Apostolate, where fifteen people pray one rosary, each praying only one decade while mediating on their Mystery.Its secondary objective was to spread devotional books and materials. In 1832 this gained the approbation of Pope Gregory XVI.


The “Living Rosary” spread very quickly throughout France. The seat of the “Living Rosary” was in the House of Loretto (near N.D de Fourviere in Lyon) and guests and friends included the Cure of Ars and P.J. Eymard.

 

In 1835 Marie Pauline suffered a serious, life-threatening illness, but recovered after a pilgrimage to Mugnano, the shrine of St. Philomena. Even since, the patron saint of the “Living Rosary” has been St. Philomena.  

In 1845 the foundations of a smelting work for Christians, established in order to help the Lyonese silk workers, collapsed due to faithless managers. Marie Pauline fell into great debt and lived the rest of her life a pauper, subject to many vilifications.

 

In summary, one might say that Pauline Marie Jaricot realized that the rosary is the means to preserve human dignity in times of revolution, industrialization, and exploitation. 

Contributed by Miss W. Neumayr