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 Home Eng » The 7 Martyrs of China » Marie de Sainte Nathalie 

Marie de Sainte Nathalie   versione testuale

(Jeanne-Marie Kerguin - French - 36 years old)

She was born on 5th May 1864 in Belle-Isle en Terre,
in Brittany. Daughter of humble and poor peasants
she knew the simple games of the village children: to run through hills and vales, to carry flowers to the statue of the Blessed Virgin.

She learned to read in the village school and at the same time to weave, to cook, to look after domestic animals … She went for Catechism classes and carefully prepared herself for her profession of faith. Shortly afterwards, while still a child, she lost her mother and had to face the housework, but already the desire to give herself totally to God was making a path in her heart.

In 1887 she knocked at the door of the novitiate in France, which was close to her village and the young Breton whose blue eyes revealed her transparent soul to its depths, was received there.

She worked on the farm, looked after the cows, did the laundry … Her joy was born of a deep conviction that "everything is big for one who accomplishes it with a large heart". Two things sufficed for her: to be intimately united to God and to love while accomplishing the smallest services of each day …

After her novitiate she was sent to Paris where poverty was very acute. Marie de Sainte Nathalie accepted it joyfully. Her sisters called her "Brother Leo" in remembrance of Leo the beloved companion of Francis of Assisi. Her first departure was for Carthage in North Africa, but she fell ill and had to return to Italy. Little by little she discovered the secret of the cross and she wrote:
 «I am happy to have to suffer. When one suffers one is detached from the world.
God wishes that I love more than all else; He has been so generous to me
and has done so much for me since I came into this world.»
In March 1899 she was destined for the new foundation of Taiyuanfu. Shortly after her arrival in China, her health became a great concern for the community. She spent several months in bed with typhus. She suffered unceasingly with unbelievable patience and finally recovered some of her strength little by little.
Work was not wanting to her … but on 9th July, with all her companions, the young Breton with blue eyes was beheaded. «Do not be afraid … Death is only God who is passing by…» she had said several times.
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