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Santa Maria Eugenia di Gesù (Anna Milleret de Brou) Fondatrice – 10 marzo

Santa Maria Eugenia di Gesù (Anna Milleret de Brou) Fondatrice

10 marzo

Metz (Francia), 25 agosto 1817 – Auteuil (Parigi), 10 marzo 1898

Anna Milleret de Brou nacque a Metz (Francia) il 25 agosto 1817 da una famiglia di origine italiana. Dopo la morte della madre nel 1832 Anna visse un periodo di forte apatia dalla quale fu scossa grazie alla predicazione di padre Lacordaire, durante la Quaresima del 1836. Spinta dal religioso Anna incontrò l’abate Maria-Teodoro Combalot che da tempo voleva fondare una comunità di suore per all’educazione delle figlie della borghesia liberale. Dopo un periodo di “noviziato” e di studio della teologia, il 30 aprile 1839 diede vita a Parigi, alla nuova Congregazione “Istituto dell’Assunzione di Maria”. Nel 1844 prese il nome di Maria Eugenia di Gesù e assunse la conduzione dell’Opera fino alla morte, il 10 marzo 1898. (Avvenire)

Etimologia: Maria = amata da Dio, dall’egiziano; signora, dall’ebraico

Martirologio Romano: A Parigi in Francia, beata Maria Eugenia Milleret de Brou, vergine, fondatrice della Congregazione delle Suore dell’Assunzione per l’educazione cristiana delle giovani.

Anna Milleret de Brou, nata a Metz (Francia) il 25 agosto 1817, crebbe in una famiglia di origine italiana e in un clima determinato dal padre, un liberale sprezzante della religione e dalla madre invece profondamente religiosa, che riuscì comunque ad educare la figlia secondo i principi cristiani.

L’adolescenza la trascorse nel collegio di Metz di ispirazione cattolica, ebbe un’illuminazione particolare nel giorno della sua Prima Comunione che le preannunciava la sua vocazione; purtroppo verso i 13 anni una grave malattia la costrinse ad interrompere gli studi, che dovette poi proseguire da sola.

Le prove per Anna continuarono, nel 1930 durante la rivoluzione contro il re Carlo X, che porterà sul trono di Francia Filippo d’Orleans, il padre perse i suoi beni e due anni dopo nel 1832 quando aveva 15 anni le morì la madre, vittima del colera; per tre anni fu assistita a Parigi in casa di parenti.

Le disgrazie subite, le ristrettezze economiche, la scarsa frequenza alle pratiche religiose della famiglia in cui andò a vivere, la portarono su una strada fatta di frivolezza, mancanza di pietà e senso religioso, ma con nell’animo una profonda insoddisfazione.

La fortuita predicazione della Quaresima del 1836, a cui lei assisté, predicata dal padre Lacordaire, la scosse dalla sua apatia, spingendola ad incontrare l’abate Maria-Teodoro Combalot su consiglio dello stesso predicatore.

Questo abate aveva in animo da tempo, di fondare una comunità di suore dedite all’educazione delle fanciulle della buona società, pertanto era alla ricerca di un’anima sensibile e intelligente che potesse aiutarlo nello scopo. Invitò Anna Milleret a frequentare una specie di noviziato presso le suore Benedettine a Parigi e poi presso le suore Visitandine nel Delfinato, dove poté perfezionarsi nello studio della teologia dogmatica e morale, nella pedagogia e nelle Sacre Scritture.

Quindi il 30 aprile 1839 insieme ad altre tre compagne radunate dall’abate Combalot, diede vita a Parigi, alla nuova Congregazione “Istituto dell’Assunzione di Maria” dedicandosi all’educazione delle fanciulle dell’aristocrazia e borghesia liberale che erano così ostili alla religione.

L’abate Combalot pur essendo un grande e valente predicatore non era purtroppo un valido organizzatore, per cui nel 1841 si ritirò dal compito e così la nascente fondazione passò alle dipendenze dell’arcivescovo di Parigi mons. Affre.

A Natale del 1844 le prime quattro suore più una conversa emisero i voti perpetui e Anna Milleret prese il nome di Maria Eugenia di Gesù, assumendo in pieno la conduzione dell’Opera.

La Regola prevede per le suore una vita di contemplazione con opere di vita attiva e dato il particolare campo d’azione è richiesta una preparazione spirituale elevata e una buona cultura intellettuale nelle singole materie da esse insegnate.

Maria Eugenia volle per le sue figlie “contemplative dell’azione”, la recita del divino Ufficio come devozione principale, perché essa è la preghiera ufficiale della Chiesa e il centro della loro spiritualità deve essere Gesù Eucaristia.

L’Istituto fu approvato definitivamente dalla S. Sede l’11 aprile 1888, la madre fondatrice lo governò fino alla morte che avvenne il 10 marzo 1898 ad Auteuil (Parigi); attualmente le suore sono 1800 sparse in 81 case. Maria Eugenia di Gesù è stata beatificata il 9 febbraio 1975 da papa Paolo VI ed infine canonizzata da Benedetto XVI il 3 giugno 2007.

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