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Beatification ceremony

The process for the beatification of Sister Eugénie Joubert

The heroic virtues of Sister Eugénie Joubert were recognised in 1983.

This was followed by an investigation into the alleged miraculous healing of Émile Legaye, born in Belgium in 1894, who was suffering from gangrenous purulent pleurisy.

Émile Legaye, although extremely weak, was cured after going to the Saint-Gilles cemetery on 1er October 1928 to pray at the grave of Sister Eugénie. A month earlier, however, the doctors had judged Mr Legaye incurable, despite the fact that he was suffering from repeated violent haemorrhages. Emile Legaye lived until 1950 with his health restored.

The miracle of this healing was recognised on 11 December 1992 by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Sister Eugénie Joubert was such a model of piety that the Empress Zita, the King of the Belgians, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, nine cardinals and nearly a hundred archbishops, bishops, superiors, religious and generals of various orders wrote to the Pope asking for her beatification.

Monsignor Clément, Archbishop of Monaco, wrote in 1927: “… a soul magnificently forewarned of the graces of God and worthy of being proposed as a model of fervour and generous immolation”.

This is the pen used to sign requests for the beatification process

Several press articles also mention the beatification of Sister Eugénie Joubert.

To read the press article published in LE RENOUVEAU on 15 March 1991, click here. (in french)

To read the press article published in L’ÉVEIL on 23 November 2004, click here. (in french)

The ceremony on 20 novembre 1994 in Rome

The beatification ceremony for Sister Eugénie Joubert took place on 20 November 1994 in St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

During this mass celebrated by Pope Saint John Paul II, several venerable figures were beatified.

The following were beatified on 20 November 1994:

Ont été béatifiés le 20 novembre 1994 :

  • Eugénie Joubert (1876-1904), Religious of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart
  • Marie Poussepin (1653-1744), foundress of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation
  • Hyacinthe-Marie Cormier (1832-1916), French Dominican priest
  • Agnès de Jésus, known as Agnès de Langeac (1602-1634), French Dominican nun
  • Claudio Granzotto (1900-1947), Italian priest, joined the Franciscan Order in 1933

Portraits of the newly Blessed

on the façade of Saint Peter’s Basilica on the day of the ceremony.

Some highlights of the celebration:

(Audio source: Jean-Louis Gaucher, nephew of Blessed Eugénie Joubert)

Request for beatification presented by Monsignor Albert Houssiau (Bishop of Liège) to Pope Saint John Paul II

Most Holy Father,

As Bishop of Liège, I present to Your Holiness the figure of Sister Eugénie Joubert, contemplative and catechist.

Born in Yssingeaux, not far from the shrine of Notre Dame du Puy en Velay on 11 February 1876, Eugénie was introduced to prayer and a generous love of the poor by her mother from an early age. Advised by Father Rabussier, in 1895 she joined the new congregation set up in Le Puy by Mother Melin.

The spirituality of the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart is centred on devotion to the Heart of Jesus as the guide of their religious community, following the example of Nazareth.

The congregation devoted itself to religious instruction through catechism classes in the most underprivileged backgrounds. After her novitiate and vows in 1897, Sister Eugénie deployed her gifts of spiritual communication with poor children in Saint-Denis and Aubervilliers.

At the first signs of illness, she was sent in August and September 1902 to the congregation’s new foundation in the parish of Saint Gilles in Liège. The clean air of the upper part of the city was to be conducive to her recovery.

After a stay in Rome, she returned to Liège on 8 May 1904, where she died on 2 July 1904 at the age of 28. This marked the end of the journey she had begun at her baptism.

With a cheerful and very sensitive nature, Eugénie Joubert responded to her vocation without looking back, as her mother had recommended when she entered religious life. She had a very keen sense of God’s presence and of Mary’s maternal protection. She responded with undivided love for the Sacred Heart and had great confidence in her heavenly Mother.

Like Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, who died in 1897, she followed the path of spiritual childhood, in unreserved obedience and humility.

In her zeal to open children up to the love of God through catechism, and in her great sensitivity, she bore the love of God without restraint, through the inactivity that illness imposed on her during the last 2 years of her life.

Her love of the Sacred Heart – “All for Him”, as she used to say – enabled her to carry this cross, even in sadness and desolation, with sincere joy. Her last words were “Jesus, Jesus”.

Buried at Saint Gilles, she was transferred to Dinant when the Sisters left Liège.

Her sisters and various witnesses to her life recognised from the moment of her death that she had made a faultless journey. God responded to the trust placed in her intercession with a miracle in Liège: Monsieur Emile Legaye.

Announcement of the beatification by Pope Saint John Paul II

Homily given by Pope Saint John Paul II at the ceremony (extract concerning Sister Eugénie Joubert)

« Sister Eugénie Joubert, a nun in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of the Sacred Heart, is offered to us as a living example of God’s action in a human heart. For her too, Christian education was decisive for everything she was to do. Two years before her death, at the end of a short life devoted in particular to the catechesis of very young children, she let out this cry from the heart: “I want to be like a very small child, carried in his mother’s arms”.

The Reign of Christ can begin in the heart of a child. Sister Eugénie understood this, and that’s why she took such care to prepare the youngest children for their first confession and first holy communion. From an early age, everyone is called to bear witness to the truth. The Church will always echo the Lord’s words: “Let the little children come to me” (Mt 19:14). She will always do so, because she knows that no son of man, however poor or humble, is indifferent to God. Everyone is called to enter the Kingdom, and Blessed Eugénie, who go before us, show us the way. »

Universal prayer

« Let us pray for our Assembly and entrust to the Lord those we love;

Through the intercession of the new Blessed, may the consoling Spirit descend upon us and our loved ones;

With the serenity and health that comfort, may we be faithful Servants of Life. »

End of the celebration – Send off

Article paru dans le magazine l’épervier de novembre 2023