On This Date…
On April 8, 1808, Pope Pius VII established the Catholic Diocese of Philadelphia, which included all of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the southern half of New Jersey. Eleven diocese now serve this area. Eight of them are in Pennsylvania.
I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)
On this date in 1816, Sister Juliet Billiart died at age 65. She was canonized in 1969. Her postulator, or guide, through the canonization process was former Norbertine Abbot General Hubert Noots.
Sister Julie Billiart was born into a peasant family in Picardy, France in the late 18th century. At age 7, she began teaching catechism to small children in her town. At age 14, she devoted herself to works of mercy and teaching her poor neighbors.
After the French Revolution, Sister Billiart founded a congregation of Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Despite her failing health, she established 15 new convents before her death.
In today’s Gospel, Mary of Nazareth says to the Angel Gabriel, “I am the haidmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
Let us take these words to heart, as Saint Julie Billiart did.
– Father McLaughlin