Dearest Sisters and Friends,
It’s with tremendous joy this year that I wish you a Happy Feast of Marie Eugénie, our new saint. We’ve always known that she was a holy woman – and we’ve benefited from that holiness in many different ways for a long time. Soon, however, when she’s claimed as a model of holiness for the entire Church, everyone will know it. What a joy that will be for all of us who make up her world-wide family !
As you already know, we now have the date – June 3rd – of Marie Eugénie’s canonization. So many years of waiting and watching and hoping will bear fruit that day in Saint Peter’s Square, when she is proclaimed "saint" among the saints of God. And yet, because every significant event touches not only those who are "on the spot" but also many others, our joy as Assumption won’t be limited to Rome on that June Sunday. Instead, it will spill over into the whole wide world, not just on that day, but throughout the year to come.
For Marie Eugénie’s canonization is speaking to the hearts of thousands of people all over the world. Many won’t be able to attend the "event" in Rome, but all will be able to rejoice with her in their own way. It’s fitting, surely, that our saint will be celebrated in big cities and small villages, in churches and schools, in health and social centers, in circles of sisters, families and friends. She has brought us together by her vision of a transformed society, by her conviction that the earth is not a place of exile but "a place of glory for God." She will be with us in each local celebration as deeply and as dearly as she will be with us in Rome.
When Marie Eugénie met God in the depths of her heart, she espoused His vision of the transformation of society in, with, and through Jesus, His beloved Son. Let’s take time during these next few months to join her in that place where the Assumption was born, and to seek to make that vision more and more our own.
With all my affection and prayer for each one,
March 3, 2007