Anne Mary was yet another child born under the threat of the French Revolution a very tragic and blood thirsty time for the Catholics of war ravaged France.
Anne Marie Javouhey was born in the year 1779 to a wealthy farming family her parents were Balthazar and Claudine, who were both devout Catholics and so raised their children to be equally devout.
During the revolution Anne Marie's parents would hide the Priests who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the State. So Anne Marie grew up used to the fact that it was quite unsafe to be Catholic and wealthy during this time.
The Javouhey family showed particular courage as they hid the Priest who were then able to have Mass at their family home. It was at these times that the young Anne Marie would keep watch as the family worshipped at Mass in case the authorities did a random search so Anne Marie learnt that at times faith came at a price and that it was a price worth paying.
Perhaps it was here that the first longing to become a Religious began to stir in the inner depths of Anne Marie's heart as she also watched in horror the terrible toll the revolution was taking on the poor. The young Anne Marie longed to help these poor souls not only with food but also with food for the soul that food which leads a soul to Heaven.
So it was that upon the ending of the French revolution Anne Marie took the veil. It was also in the year 1800 that Sister Anne Marie had a vision of poor negro children who were starving which wrenched at the heart of this young woman of immense compassion.
Anne Marie's entry into the Religious life was not without its flaw's so after several attempts to enter the Religious life and also leaving particular Orders, Anne Marie upon much prayer decided to begin one of her own. Anne Marie would be joined in this endeavor by eight companions so began the Order of Saint Joseph of Cluny in 1805. It was in 1807 that the sisters under the Guidance of their Mother Anne Marie were able to buy a friary and then from this base the Sisters of St. Joseph began their teaching Order.
Mother Anne Marie never forgot the misery she saw when her fellow Frenchmen suffered under the misery of the revolution. This fired her heart with a zeal to help these very people not only rise above their circumstances but to educate them in the Faith, for Mother Anne Marie knew that money was not the answer to their problems, it would be faith that gave people back their hope.
In the year 1819 Mother Anne Marie's vision of seeing the poor suffering Negro children would come back to her and through this vision Anne Marie would extend her Religious Order to the mission fields. This meant sending Sisters to the countries of West Africa, Gambia and French Guiana where Mother Anne Marie set off with 36 fellow Sisters in 1828, she soon established a self supporting system which helped educate those who were most in need.
During these missionary missions Mother Anne Marie Javouhey also met up with obstacles and adversities not of which stopped her religious zeal and also her compassion towards those who were being so mistreated because of the colour of their skin. Mother Anne Marie's influence upon the white population was so great and she was so admired that when emancipation came to the Negroes there was no severe violence which had happened in other regions by the colonists.
Mother Anne Marie Javouhey did not stop there as she also opened missions for the lepers near Accarouary. As we see from the heat of the revolution came this woman of amazing stamina who inspired by the missionary zeal and love of God she sought to spread this love to as many people as she could. Mother Anne Marie Javouhey succeeded.
Mother Anne Marie Jovouhey died in the year 1851.
Blessed Anne Marie Jovouhey was beatified in the year 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.