Marie Eugenie de Jesus
Saint Marie-Eugenie de Jesus. R.A.
Anne-Eugenie Milleret de Brou, (August 25, 1817 – March 10, 1898) was a Catholic Religious Sister who founded the religious congregation of the Religious of the Assumption in 1839. On June3, 2007, she was canonized in the Vatican City by the Pope Benedict XVI.
Anne-Eugenie was born in 1817 in Metz into a wealthy family and grew up in a chateau in the suburb of Priesch, north of Paris. When she was 13, her father lost all his money and their estate. Her parents separated and she moved to Paris with her mother. Her mother had a deep concern for the poor of the city, and she often accompanied her mother visiting families in need. Her mother died of cholera when Anne-Eugenie was 15 years old. She spent the remainder of her teenage years tossed between two sets of relations, one whom she found concerned only with worldly pleasures, the other as having a narrow spirit of piety. She was separated from the brother who had been her main companion as a child, and she wondered about life and how to live out the spirit of faith and justice her mother had taught her.
At the age of 12, Anne-Eugenie made her First Holy Communion and it proved to be a life-changing experience for her. Through receiving this sacrament, she experienced the presence of God, a mystical moment, one about which she would talk throughout the rest of her life.
During Lent, while she was in her late teenage years, she was invited to listen to a series of lectures at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, given by then-AbbeLacordaire, a famous preacher and social commentator of that period. Lacordaire was about to leave for Italy to enter the Dominican Order and lead its re-establishment in France. As a result of his preaching, Anne-Eugenie had a conversion experience, and became passionate about the Word of God and became a dedicated Christian. She then went to confession with the Abbe Theodore Combalot, an associate of Lacordaire. Combalot told her that he was looking for someone to help him found a religious order devoted to Mary and to the education of the poor, and thought that Anne-Eugenie would be such a foundress. At the age of 22, with four young companions, she founded the Religious of the Assumption.
The congregation began in a small apartment on the Rue Ferou, Paris, and celebrated their first Mass together as a Religious Congregation on November 9, 1839. Today, the motherhouse of the Religious of the Assumption is on the Rue de l’Assomption, Paris. Over the years, Mother Marie-Eugenie founded thirty religious communities in nine countries.
In 1898, Mother Marie-Eugenie died at the age of 80 in Paris. On February 9, 1975, she was beatified by Pope Paul VI and on June 3, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI canonized her.
As of 2007, the Religious of the Assumption included 1,300 Sisters from 44 nationalities, located in 34 countries on 4 continents. From the beginning, the order’s work would be a partnership with the laity. Today’s Assumption is a Lay and Religious partnership.
“Education is to allow the good in every person to breakthrough the rock that imprisons it and bring it into the light where it can blossom and shed it’s light…”
St. Marie Eugenie of Jesus – Foundress Religious of the Assumption