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Reflections from some of our ‘Associates of Jeanne Jugan’, in preparation for her Feast 30th August 2020.

St Jeanne Jugan is for me a true model of holiness.  She had complete confidence and trust in Divine Providence so, when she gave up her bed for that first blind old  lady she knew that God would help her, even though, in the eyes of the world, in was madness to take an old lady into her home without any means of support.   At the same time, she was very practical and knew that God helps those who help themselves, so she started to go out collecting asking for clothing, food and other necessities as more elderly came to her for help. She often met with hostility which she accepted without complaint but offered everything up to the Lord for the salvation of souls.  Her humility was profound even when all responsibility was taken from her and she was sent to the Mother House, she willingly accepted the will of God and by doing so, she provided a wonderful example to the novices and young Little Sisters she lived with.  St Jeanne Jugan is very much a Saint of our time – There are thousands of elderly people isolated and lonely in every town and city, who have no family or friends to visit. Even in our Homes over these last months, the Residents have been unable to see their families and have had to rely on phone or video calls to enable them to keep in touch.  St Jeanne Jugan pray for all our elderly brothers and sisters throughout the world especially those who are suffering during this Pandemic. Ask the Lord to fill them with His peace and give them the strength they need at this difficult and uncertain time.   Eileen Strevens –AJJ Province Coordinator

 Jeanne’s complete trust on God’s providence and love of Our Lady and the protection of St Joseph.  Her simplicity and love of the elderly, which has been passed through to the Congregation of Sisters today, was shown to me when my Mother was a resident for seven years here in Bristol and influenced my decision to be a member of the Association.  During these hard times with Covid 19 her charism has brought me closer to my prayer life, my love for the Holy Trinity, Our Lady, St Joseph and the Saints. Michael from Bristol

I feel very influenced by her great faith in God’s Providence “ It is Good to be Poor and depend on God for everything”.  Her humility and littleness in order to serve the elderly poor and lonely and all those who are suffering – St Jeanne Jugan please help us all during this pandemic.  Her Charism is desperately needed in today’s world. All the Homes across the world and the most marvellous Sisters and staff working in them. Our hospitals and all the scientific specialists are hoping to find a cure but we need God and all the Saints to help them.  Her outstanding faith, achieved by praying and her complete obedience to God and her superiors.  She is an outstanding Saint. Saint Jeanne Jugan Pray for Us!     Anne Parsons – Bristol

“If God is with us it will be accomplished”!  These words remind me daily to put my faith in God and He will take care of me. Jeanne Jugan Inspires me to Trust in the Lord and all will be well. In these difficult times this is very relevant.  Do everything through loveGod is Love. If we do everything with God we can’t go wrong. If we do things with love it will be the right thing to do. Love of God should be the reason we do all things.  The Hail Mary will take us to Heaven.  The Haily Mary was Jeanne Jugan’s usual way of saying thank you. We are encouraged to pray for help and guidance but to remember pray the Hail Maryto say thank you for all our blessings.  Jeanne Jugan had a great devotion to Our Lady. When we say the Hail Mary we acknowledge that the Lord is always with Mary. Like Jeanne Jugan, we ask that Mary prays for us every day but especially when we are at the end of our life and on our way to Heaven.  Jeanne Jugan did everyday things with great love. She was humble and accepting. She inspires us to do small things with great love. My association with the Little Sisters, as they follow in St Jeanne Jugan’s footsteps, has influenced the way I look at life and strengthened my faith. The Sisters‘ spiritual life is totally linked to the way they serve the elderly as taught by Jeanne Jugan.  God bless.   Maureen Williams 

Please find my reflections on what St Jeanne Jugan means to me as an Associate, in preparation for her feast day. Thank you for all your work and care, very best wishes, Catherine.  How does she influence how we live?  St Jeanne Jugan shows us how to be ‘little’, to be humble. Her patient acceptance of being put aside showed complete trust in God. He kept her for the most important job of all, ensuring strong foundations for the Order through her authentic teaching and example to the young novices. St Jeanne Jugan’s life shows us that God’s has a plan, and to trust in this completely, especially when we feel most forgotten.  Are there any particular aspects of her charism that attracted you to become an Associate?   St Jeanne Jugan’s charism of welcome and true hospitality for all, particularly attracted me to become an Associate. Her generosity of spirit and loving kindness are qualities for us to try and reflect back in our own lives. .  How relevant is her Charism in today’s world?  St Jeanne Jugan shows us how to serve, particularly the poor, and to see Jesus in everyone. This is very powerful in a generation that celebrates the easy and external, and shows us what it means to be truly human. She teaches us not to judge, but to help, not to run away from challenging situations or individuals, but to run towards them, confident in God’s care.  What can she teach us about our own faith?·  St Jeanne Jugan teaches us how to be simple and to trust in God entirely. She shows us how to be ‘little’, like the children that Jesus called to himself and whose birthright is the kingdom of heaven.   Catherine – Newcastle

I was in the formation group at St.Peters some 20 years ago, joined with reluctance and fear that I was not worthy to belong to such an Association. BUT this is what I have learnt and try very hard to follow.  HUMILITY  –   PERSEVERANCE   –  RESOLUTE.   St Jeanne practiced and had all of these virtues, her humility particularly, never seeking praise for what she did.   Praying daily to St. Jeanne gives me hope & visiting St.Peters gives me great joy & happiness.  I was asked to send you my thoughts &  feelings, hopefully I have intimated them.  Kind regards.   Gloria – St Peter’s, London

As an AJJ member  at St. Peter’s,  I was asked to note my reflections on the life of St Jeanne Jugan. St Jeanne Jugan  lived for others, forgetting  her own needs and feelings even when she was overlooked and humiliated. We can keep this in mind to help us as we face our own frustrations and humiliations in our daily lives.  I think that  I was influenced, as a child, on visits to a Home where a relative was a Sister. The quiet and humble devotion of the Sisters made an impression before I had heard of the foundress.  The Sisters,  in following the rule of their foundress, set an image of selfless devotion, which made an impression but is very difficult to achieve.  The very opposite of the Foundress’ charism is practised and celebrated today, when pride, self indulgence and self interest are practicsed and acclaimed . There is much need for her charism in today’s  world.  St Jeanne Jugan’s humble beginnings show us that great learning, though necessary for some, is not necessary  for all. Our faith can be simple  but strong.  Sincerely.  Avis  Aitchison AJJ

On reflection, the person of Jeanne Jugan personified fortitude and complete surrender to God’s Will, particularly in isolation and being put down.  A lesson for us all in this time of Covid. Please pray for our families to stay free of the virus and to retain their jobs.  Also for all in Mount St Josephs who have lost their lives, not from Covid, but distressful for the families.  God Bless.  Christine Kearney – Leeds

Here is a reflection on St Jeanne Jugan from Connie Cull – AJJ in St Peter’s Residence.  Since belonging to the AJJ I have found that faith can be a simple thing and prayer is a conversation with Jesus. When things do not go as I would want them to I remember that Jeanne would ask God to arrange everything and so I trust that He will do that. “If God is with us it will be accomplished” .  Today when all countries are at odds with each other, it is good to reflect on Jeanne “To depend on God for everything”.  Connie Cull – St Peter’s

 Charitable works with humility.
 Devotion to the elderly.
 Pray to St Jeanne Jugan to make the world a better place to live in.
 To follow our faith through the teachings of Jeanne Jugan.
Helen Lloyd and Pat Huddleston – Newcastle

Dear Lord, we praise  and thank  you for the life of Jeanne  Jugan. She has inspired me with her humble and gentle heart to help and serve  the elderly with joy. I ask that you give me the strength  and guidance in my prayers to be charitable, humble and compassionate and in my thoughts and prayers to help the poor. I vow to help in serving the mission of St Jeanne  Jugan  in all that I can do on my journey along the right path, so that I may inspire many young woman to follow in the footsteps  of Jeanne  Jugan.   Most faithful companion, dearest Lord, be my guardian and never leave my side. Thank you for the faithfulness and love you give to me  Protect  me while I sleep and please look upon my family with guidance  and care in all their difficulties as they travel the road of life. I ask this for all families who are suffering, the poor, the sick and the elderly through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Caroline Hoban AJJ – St Peter’s

                       A Feast Day like no other

                        But a Feast Day just the same,

                        We know that Jeanne is with us

                        We know she shares the pain.

                        That her beloved Sisters feel

                        In trying to maintain

                        The safety of the elderly

                        So that they remain

                        Free from this deadly virus

                        And happy once again. 

                        Connie AJJ – St Peter’s