Welcome, Pilgrim Tapestry
On Monday, April 15, we welcomed the Jeanne Jugan Tapestry to our Home. This pilgrim image is traveling to each Home in our Chicago Province. Two other tapestries are traveling from Home to Home in the Brooklyn and Baltimore Provinces. These tapestries represent the living presence of Saint Jeanne Jugan in each community and the experience of our pioneering Little Sisters who traveled the long journey to America 150 years ago.
Created in Belgium by Slabbink (internationally known designer of liturgical vestments), the tapestries portrays Jeanne Jugan in her collecting rounds in the French Breton countryside, with Little Sisters and Residents in the background. On the horizon is the sea which evokes the great wave of charity in which Jeanne Jugan gave birth.
Before the tapestries were to be sent to America. A pilgrimage was planned for the tapestries to visit many of the central sites that were instrumental in the formation of the congregation. Watch the story of the Jeanne Jugan tapestries here.
We welcomed the tapestries with a procession in our Chapel. Stan, one of our Residents, carried the banner, while Fr. Damien held a relic of Jeanne Jugan. Following Father, dressed in the Little Sister’s old habit, was one of the original pioneering Little Sister’s -Sr. Dorothee (Provincial employee, Kim Bemis) and Residents, Little Sisters and staff.
Mother Margaret started the prayer vigil. “This evening, as we welcome the travelling banner of Saint Jeanne Jugan, let us turn our thoughts to the seven little sisters who embarked for America in 1868. They received the riches of the Holy Spirit, desired to become Saints, and went with great faith and in extreme poverty to a new mission, far from all that was familiar. These are the souls to whom we owe a decisive turning point in our personal lives. Let us hear about their message. They received a call and said yes with fervor. Thanks to their generosity, the flame that was enkindled in 1839 in Jeanne Jugan’s heart stayed very much alive in all its radiance in their hands…and they passed it on to us.”
Mother encouraged us that while we have the pilgrim banner here, to “please stop and pray near it. Remember, it has been to all of the sacred places where Saint Jeanne Jugan lived and died. Ask Jeanne Jugan to help you, whoever you are and at whatever stage of the journey you are on, Ask her to help you to love God very much, to keep your eyes and heart fixed on Him… Remember, ‘the only great tragedy in life is not to become a saint!’ Leon Blois” Uniting our prayer with all who have gone before us in faith, we prayed the Litany of Saint Jeanne Jugan.
Before the vigil ended, we had an opportunity to venerate the relic of Jeanne Jugan.