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The Miracle of Giving
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Miraculous Medals, Money Open Way to Sharing with Montreal’s Poor

When our Blessed Mother gave the design of the medal to St. Catherine Labouré she said, “Now it must be given to the whole world and to every person.”
When our Blessed Mother gave the design of the medal to St. Catherine Labouré she said, “Now it must be given to the whole world and to every person.”

Montreal, Jan. 21, 2007 – When 21-year-old Regnum Christi member Jean-Pierre Rousseau set out with his friends on a mission to help the poor on the streets of Montreal, he didn’t know that the greatest gift he could share was not the money he brought to hand out.

What the poor wanted most, he found, was God’s love and the respect of their brothers and sisters.

After a Eucharistic celebration at Sacred Heart Chapel of Notre Dame Basilica, Jean-Pierre and his fellow missionaries gathered near the Palais des Congrès of Montreal, where many homeless poor huddle around the subway entrance in order to stay warm. As anyone would pass by, the missionaries would hand them Miraculous Medals of the kind given by the Blessed Mother to St. Catherine Laboure in France nearly two hundred years ago. They also had some cash to hand to poor people so they could get some food.

“That’s when we met a certain man,” Jean-Pierre recalled. “I didn’t ask him his name when I gave him the medal, which became like a treasure for him and he looked for a place to attach it to his coat.

“If I remember well, I asked him if he wanted a little money,” Jean-Pierre added. “He said that he had been there since the beginning of the day and he certainly would like a good coffee. I gave him some money and, even then, he kept looking at the Virgin Mary on the metal and trying to find a worthy place for it on his coat.”

After this experience of a poor man’s surprising faith, the young missionary said he was moved by his exchange with a woman named Chantal who was there begging.

“We spoke with her for about ten minutes, but we could hardly understand what she said,” Rousseau recalled. “I gave her a medal and she immediately asked me it I too believed in Jesus. However, this was still not yet what really marked this mission experience.

“After a few minutes, she asked us what she meant for us. We responded that she
The Palais des Congrès of Montreal where Jean-Pierre Rousseau and his friends went to help the poor.
The Palais des Congrès of Montreal where Jean-Pierre Rousseau and his friends went to help the poor.
is a person just as important as us and in her eyes you could see a smile. She quickly asked us if we were serious or if we just said that without believing it. Since we said we meant it, she became very happy. We continued speaking to her and, when it was time to leave, she didn’t want us to go. She asked us where she could see us again. We told her that she could surely find people like us in the churches.”

Jean-Pierre summed up his missionary experience: “What I get out of this story is that she didn’t want us to leave. She did this not in order to get some money, but a little love.”


PUBLICATION DATE: 2007-02-01


 
 

Related links

Catholic.net web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Challenge
ConQuest
Helping Hands Medical Missions


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