BLESSED FRANCISCO COLL AND BLESSED MARY OF THE CROSS (JEANNE JUGAN)
Archbishop Amato, recalled that Blessed Francisco Coll was born in Gombrèn (Gerona) in 1812. That he joined the Order of Preachers and in 1830 made his solemn profession. As soon as he was ordained deacon, Francisco was forced to abandon his beloved convent of Gerona because of the nefarious civil laws in Spain. When he was ordained in 1836, in accord with his “exclaustrated” religious superiors, he offered his pastoral services to the Bishop of Vic. He immediately became a great evangeliser for both the clergy and other faithful through the preaching of spiritual exercises and popular missions. He founded the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Anunciata in 1856 for the evangelization and education of the most needy. He continued his preaching tirelessly until his death on April 2, 1875. Archbishop Amato recalled the day of his beatification by the Servant of God, Pope John Paul II, on April 29, 1979.
As regards Blessed Mary of the Cross Jugan, Archbishop Amato offered a biographical outline. He recalled her birth during the French Revolution in 1792 in Cancale, Brittany. Like Francisco Coll she lost her father when she was still very young. She dedicated herself selflessly to a job in order to earn some money and help her mother in the upkeep of her brothers. The Archbishop underlined her gift of self to God, an intention she formulated at the beginning of a mission in 1816. She worked in a hospital in Saint-Servan, joined the Third Order of the Heart of Mary founded by Saint John Eudes, and worked as a housekeeper at Miss Lecoq’s home. Her contact with the Brothers of the Order of St. John of God in Dinan led her to the foundation of a Congregation aimed at the service of the poor. She was elected Superior in 1842. However, the following year her work was centred on begging in order to help the needy, and the laying of the foundations for new communities. From 1852 onwards she retired to the novitiate house in La Tour, France. She died aged 86 in 1879. At time of her death, her Congregation had 2488 members. She was beatified by John Paul II, on October 3, 1982.