Pauline Jaricot, creativity at the service of the Universal Church

The remarkable Pauline Jaricot (1799-1862) was born to live in high society but gave all that up to evangelise, founding organisations that have survived to this day : the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary. Her vocation took shape in France at a time when workers were subjected to social injustice and society experienced spiritual decay.

Pauline’s creative mind changed the history of fundraising in the Church. Her innovative idea of groups and group leadership aligned to a decimal system of 10s, 100s and 1000s took shape. The strategy was simple: prayer and an individual network of personal relationships. The group leaders of each system collected funds from the groups every week. Pauline also managed her own group of 100s.

Pauline, being a savvy, innovative and assertive 19-year-old missionary at the time, ensured that common sense prevailed. Instead of disbanding her organisation, as demanded, she expanded it. It was love of God and loyalty to her mission that enabled her to stand firm, eventually giving the Church great works of charity. She said: “I lit the match that lit the fire.”

This lay woman, a friend of both St John Vianney and Pope Gregory XVI, made a big difference in evangelisation and missionary work.

A film produced by Aleteia and les Œuvres Pontificales Missionnaires of France

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