In December 1820, Jean-Maurice Catroux was appointed parish-priest at La Salle de Vihiers, South of Anjou. This burning-hearted priest became very quickly aware of the needs of the people who surrounded him. For the children, for the sick persons entrusted to him, he tried to find women with hearts of mothers and educators, experienced and devoted nurses.
Aged twenty-six, passionate and determined, facing the realities he discovered, Jean-Maurice Catroux did not lose a minute. Unable to find nuns accepting to go to his parish, he then decided to do himself what several parish-priests were doing at that time, that is, to establish in his parish a small local community to run a school and to visit the sick.
"Our Founder's apostolic zeal rests upon an unshakeable faith: acceptance of God's Word, a deep and personal relationship with Christ, and trust in Providence. This faith is trust in the action of Holy Spirit within us, in events about us, and in the salvation offered to all.
Faithful to initial grace, our mission today is expressed in our common project of evangelization."
Rule of life 1.6
On a road to La Salle de Vihiers, the men fighting in the Vendée war were going past and saluting a cross bearing the same heart as the one fixed on their jackets. The Heart of Christ on the cross, a devotion and a symbol chosen by Father Catroux and Mother Marie, which, beyond their daughters, are still adopted by loving hearts, accepted by broken hearts.
In these two elite people, the energy of faith, the wisdom of judgment, the kindness of heart, were shining.
Wherever they are, the Daughters of the Charity of the Sacred-Heart of Jesus regularly ask themselves this question :
”Today, in my situation, which pieces of advice will I receive from our Founders ?”
The heart on the cross
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