Twice Our Mother: Blessed Marie of the Incarnation

I firmly believe that my Divine Jesus will give me all the help necessary for this exalted enterprise, for His Love, and He is much too kind not to help those who hope in Him. It is in this that my peace consists, and in my resolution to be faithful to Him.

In 1875, over two hundred years after Marie's death, sixteen Chiefs of the Huron Nation petitioned Pope Pius IX for her canonization:

With her own hands, she marked the sign of faith on our hearts, and it has never since been effaced. . . . She loved us with a human, as well as a spiritual affection, she is twice our mother.

Marie was declared Venerable (the first North American so honored) in 1911, and beatified in 1980. At a time when missionaries are accused of paternalism and cultural imperialism, her story reminds us that such sweeping labels are inadequate, not to mention unfair to the men and women who sacrificed their own lives, not for the sake of a flag or a particular culture, but to announce His Good News to all the nations.

1/11/2011 5:00:00 AM