Jeanne Jugan & Little Sisters of the Poor
Complete Set of 2 nos of postage stamps on Jeanne Jugan, Sister Mary of the Cross and founder of Little Sisters of the Poor :
Issued on Oct 29, 2009
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to honour Jeanne Jugan and the Order the Little Sisters of the Poor by issuing a set of commemorative postage stamps.
Stamp, FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Se–tenant Stamps, Postal Used
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 2000 & 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.5 Million each
Printing Process : Wet–offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Jeanne Jugan [also known as Sister Mary of the Cross]
Born on Oct 25, 1792 at Cancale, France
Died on Aug 29, 1879 at Saint-Pern, France
- The Religious Order of “Little Sisters of the Poor” was founded in 1839 in France by a French lady, Jeanne Jugan, whose religious name was Sr. Mary of the Cross. She was born in Cancale, in France on 25 October 1792. Her father was a sailor who was lost at sea when she was only four years old. The young Jeanne Jugan supported her mother’s efforts to raise the young family by working as kitchen maid till she was 25 years old.
- She then left her home for Saint Servan where she worked as a nurse’s aide at Le Rosais Hospital. Refusing all offers of marriage, Jeanne Jugan turned her life into a mission for God’s work.
- It was her desire to serve God and the poor, especially the weakest and the most destitute. Joining the Third Order of the Admirable Mother to begin with, Jeanne Jugan‘s life changed when an elderly woman blind and semi-paralysed, shivering in one of the coldest winter evenings of 1839 knocked on her door. Jeanne opened her door and her heart and offered her own bed. Thus the seed for service to the poor was sown leading to the founding of the Order of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Starting with Jeanne & three young companions, the Little Sisters are now running Homes for the Aged in 31 countries, caring for elderly people of all castes, creeds and religions until their death, arranging for the fulfillment of all their needs in the twilight of their lives.
- Through a lifetime shrouded in obscurity and often neglect, Jeanne Jugan retained her faith and love and served God in her silent, gentle manner. Her work lives on in the Order of the Little Sisters of the Poor. They run 13 Homes for the Aged in India, starting in 1832 at Kolkata. The Bangalore Home at Hosur Road founded in 1900 co-ordinates the work and mission.
- The Homes are run as a non-profitable organization where the elderly residents are cared for free of charge. They are maintained through collections from generous people. Besides, two of their sisters go out daily seeking donation in cash or kind from well-wishers. Doctors visit the Homes regularly and offer medical care to the residents, as do physiotherapist handicraft units in the Homes directed by one of the Sisters, help evolve the hidden talents of the residents giving their lives purpose and meaning. Friends and benefactors also provided the Homes with TVs and DVDs. The residents are encouraged to keep in contact with their families and the Home is open to visits from their loved ones.
- Sr. Mary of the Cross, as Jeanne Jugan came to be called, has left a rich legacy in the Order of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Rising from the silence and obscurity of her life, she is being canonized this year, a model of sanctity and selfless service.
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.