A brief biography.
Marie Poussepin was born at Dourdan, near Paris (France), 14 October 1653, and belonged to a relatively well-off family but her father ended up bankrupt. Marie, who was still young had to take charge of her father's business (manufacturing stockings) to meet the needs of her family and to help keep up the financial situation of her village. As director of the business she introduced new machinery; she hired young people without having them pay their apprenticeship training which they needed to become master tradesmen.
While assuming her responsibility as business manager, Marie Poussepin was also involved in a Fraternity of Charity in her village, followed by her membership in a Dominican Third Order Fraternity in 1693. As a member of these groups, she found herself taking on leadership roles in visiting the sick, the widows, the beggars.
Touched by the misery she encountered in the countryside and particularly by the status of the orphans, the widows, the sick women and generally by the condition of the poor women of her time, Mane set up a Dominican Fraternity in 1695 to whom she bequeathed all of her personal belongings. Set up in a small village (Sainville), this Fraternity was very different from any other because the members lived together according to Dominican tradition in order to radiate their charity, but without the cloister. She thus responded to the double challenge of combating misery and living religious life to its fullness.
In Sainville she organized a small school for girls. Her community grew and other communities were soon established to serve the poor. the sick, the orphans. Before her death, there would be twenty such communities. in the Parisian area alone. The bishop of Chartres caused her many problems, for he did not want to recognize the congregation that Marie had established. He demanded that the sisters renounce all ties with the Dominicans. Marie had no choice but to accept. Links with the Dominicans would be renewed in 1897.
Marie Poussepin placed charity at the heart of religious life. Work became a way of living religious poverty. Work was a major consideration for Marie; it was seen as a true discipline and a communal commitment to achieve the goals of the Congregation.
Mother Poussepin died in Sainville on 25th January 1744 and was buried in Tours.
In 1813 the mother-house was established at Saint-Symphorien near Tours. In 1897, the congregation was affiliated with the Order of Preachers, and became formally known as the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Tours. Marie Poussepin was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 20 November 1994.
Honouring the 250the day of Marie Poussepin's death, (14.10.
1653-24.01.1744). In Colombia the sisters care for a colony of
lepers in Aqua de Dios.
Colombia 1994, Mi 1931, Sc 1089.
Return to REGISTER A Return to HOMEPAGE